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J Biomed Opt. 2012 Jan;17(1):016014. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.17.1.016014.

Monitoring early tumor response to drug therapy with diffuse optical tomography.

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Columbia University, New York, Department of Biomedical Engineering, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Although anti-angiogenic agents have shown promise as cancer therapeutics, their efficacy varies between tumor types and individual patients. Providing patient-specific metrics through rapid noninvasive imaging can help tailor drug treatment by optimizing dosages, timing of drug cycles, and duration of therapy-thereby reducing toxicity and cost and improving patient outcome. Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) is a noninvasive three-dimensional imaging modality that has been shown to capture physiologic changes in tumors through visualization of oxygenated, deoxygenated, and total hemoglobin concentrations, using non-ionizing radiation with near-infrared light. We employed a small animal model to ascertain if tumor response to bevacizumab (BV), an anti-angiogenic agent that targets vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), could be detected at early time points using DOT. We detected a significant decrease in total hemoglobin levels as soon as one day after BV treatment in responder xenograft tumors (SK-NEP-1), but not in SK-NEP-1 control tumors or in non-responder control or BV-treated NGP tumors. These results are confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging T2 relaxometry and lectin perfusion studies. Noninvasive DOT imaging may allow for earlier and more effective control of anti-angiogenic therapy.

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