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NMR Biomed. 2013 Feb;26(2):151-63. doi: 10.1002/nbm.2830. Epub 2012 Jul 8.

Response of HT29 colorectal xenograft model to cediranib assessed with 18 F-fluoromisonidazole positron emission tomography, dynamic contrast-enhanced and diffusion-weighted MRI.

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Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA.


Cediranib is a small-molecule pan-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor. The tumor response to short-term cediranib treatment was studied using dynamic contrast-enhanced and diffusion-weighted MRI at 7 T, as well as (18) F-fluoromisonidazole positron emission tomography and histological markers. Rats bearing subcutaneous HT29 human colorectal tumors were imaged at baseline; they then received three doses of cediranib (3 mg/kg per dose daily) or vehicle (dosed daily), with follow-up imaging performed 2 h after the final cediranib or vehicle dose. Tumors were excised and evaluated for the perfusion marker Hoechst 33342, the endothelial cell marker CD31, smooth muscle actin, intercapillary distance and tumor necrosis. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI-derived parameters decreased significantly in cediranib-treated tumors relative to pretreatment values [the muscle-normalized initial area under the gadolinium concentration curve decreased by 48% (p=0.002), the enhancing fraction by 43% (p=0.003) and K(trans) by 57% (p=0.003)], but remained unchanged in controls. No change between the pre- and post-treatment tumor apparent diffusion coefficients in either the cediranib- or vehicle-treated group was observed over the course of this study. The (18) F-fluoromisonidazole mean standardized uptake value decreased by 33% (p=0.008) in the cediranib group, but showed no significant change in the control group. Histological analysis showed that the number of CD31-positive vessels (59 per mm(2) ), the fraction of smooth muscle actin-positive vessels (80-87%) and the intercapillary distance (0.17 mm) were similar in cediranib- and vehicle-treated groups. The fraction of perfused blood vessels in cediranib-treated tumors (81 ± 7%) was lower than that in vehicle controls (91 ± 3%, p=0.02). The necrotic fraction was slightly higher in cediranib-treated rats (34 ± 12%) than in controls (26 ± 10%, p=0.23). These findings suggest that short-term treatment with cediranib causes a decrease in tumor perfusion/permeability across the tumor cross-section, but changes in vascular morphology, vessel density or tumor cellularity are not manifested at this early time point.

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