Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nucl Med. 2011 Sep;52(9):1339-45. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.111.091587. Epub 2011 Aug 17.

Human dosimetry and preliminary tumor distribution of 18F-fluoropaclitaxel in healthy volunteers and newly diagnosed breast cancer patients using PET/CT.

Author information

Molecular Imaging Program, Center for Cancer Research/National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


(18)F-fluoropaclitaxel is a radiolabeled form of paclitaxel, a widely used chemotherapy agent. Preclinical data suggest that (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel may be a reasonable surrogate for measuring the uptake of paclitaxel. As a substrate of P-glycoprotein, a drug efflux pump associated with multidrug resistance, (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel may also be useful in identifying multidrug resistance and predicting tumor response for drugs other than paclitaxel.


After informed consent was obtained, 3 healthy volunteers and 3 patients with untreated breast cancer (neoadjuvant chemotherapy candidates, tumor size > 2 cm) received an intravenous infusion of (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel and then underwent PET/CT. Healthy volunteers underwent serial whole-body imaging over an approximately 3-h interval, and organ (18)F residence times were determined from the time-activity curves uncorrected for decay to determine dosimetry. Radiation dose estimates were calculated using OLINDA/EXM software. For breast cancer patients, dynamic imaging of the primary tumor was performed for 60 min, followed by static whole-body scans at 1 and 2 h after injection.


Dosimetry calculations showed that the gallbladder received the highest dose (229.50 μGy/MBq [0.849 rad/mCi]), followed by the small and large intestines (161.26 μGy/MBq [0.597 rad/mCi] and 184.59 μGy/MBq [0.683 rad/mCi]). The resultant effective dose was 28.79 μGy/MBq (0.107 rem/mCi). At approximately 1 h after injection, an average of 42% of the decay-corrected activity was in the gastrointestinal system, with a mean of 0.01% in the tumor. All 3 breast cancer patients showed retention of (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel and ultimately demonstrated a complete pathologic response (no invasive cancer in the breast or axillary nodes) to chemotherapy that included a taxane (either paclitaxel or docetaxel) at surgical resection. The tumor-to-background ratio increased with time to a maximum of 7.7 at 20 min.


This study demonstrates the feasibility of using (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel PET/CT tumor imaging and provides radiation dosimetry measurements in humans. Although further study is needed, it is hoped that the measured intratumoral (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel distribution can serve as a surrogate for paclitaxel, and potentially other chemotherapeutic agent retention, in solid tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center