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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Apr;106(4):dju033. doi: 10.1093/jnci/dju033. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

Preclinical evaluation of imaging biomarkers for prostate cancer bone metastasis and response to cabozantinib.

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Affiliations of authors: Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging (TJG, NT, TJS, SPR), Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit (GB, MC, SM, GA, JdB, SAE, FED), and Molecular Pathology (FED), Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Surrey, UK.



Prostate cancer is incurable once it has metastasized to the bone. Appropriate preclinical models are lacking. The therapeutic efficacy of the multikinase inhibitor cabozantinib was assessed in an orthotopic xenograft model of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) bone metastasis using noninvasive, multimodality functional imaging.


NOD/SCID mice were injected intratibially with luciferase-expressing ERG (v-ets avian erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog) rearranged VCaP human prostate carcinoma cells. The response of VCaP xenografts (n = 7 per group) to cabozantinib was investigated using bioluminescence imaging and anatomical and diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging. This enabled quantitation of tumor volume and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). Bone uptake of technetium-methylene diphosphonate ((99m)Tc-MDP) was assessed by single-photon emission computed tomography. Ex vivo micro computed tomography was used to quantify bone volume and correlated with appropriate histopathology. Statistical significance was determined using the two-sided Mann-Whitney test or Wilcoxon signed rank test.


VCaP xenografts were predominantly osteosclerotic with some osteolytic activity. Fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis confirmed retention of ERG oncogene rearrangements. Cabozantinib induced a statistically significant 52% reduction in tumor luminance (P = .02) and stasis in tumor volume after 15 days of treatment. Tumor ADC statistically significantly increased with cabozantinib and was associated with extensive necrosis (after 10 days, mean tumor ADC ± SD = 556±43×10(-6) mm(2)/s vs pretreatment ADC = 485±43×10(-6) mm(2)/s; P = .02 ). Tumor-associated uptake of (99m)Tc-MDP was statistically significantly reduced after 3 days of treatment (P = .02), sustained over 15 days treatment, and associated with a statistically significant (P = .048) reduction in bone growth on the tibial cortex, yet a highly statistically significant (P = .001) increase in trabecular bone volume.


The intratibial VCaP model faithfully emulates clinical disease. Cabozantinib exerts potent effects on both tumor and tumor-induced bone matrix remodeling, and quantitation of ADC provides a clinically translatable imaging biomarker for early, sensitive assessment of treatment response in CRPC bone metastasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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