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Mol Imaging. 2014;13. doi: 10.2310/7290.2014.00045.

Quantitative correlation at the molecular level of tumor response to docetaxel by multimodal diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and [¹⁸F]FDG/[¹⁸F]FLT positron emission tomography.


We aimed to quantitatively characterize the treatment effects of docetaxel in the HCT116 xenograft mouse model, applying diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) using 2-deoxy-2-[¹⁸F]fluoro-d-glucose ([¹⁸F]FDG) and 3'-deoxy-3'-[¹⁸F]-fluorothymidine ([¹⁸F]FLT). Mice were imaged at four time points over 8 days. Docetaxel (15 mg/kg) was administered after a baseline scan. Voxel-wise scatterplots of PET and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) data of tumor volumes were evaluated with a threshold cluster analysis and compared to histology (GLUT1, GLUT3, Ki67, activated caspase 3a). Compared to the extensive tumor growth observed in the vehicle-treated group (from 0.32 ± 0.21 cm³ to 0.69 ± 0.40 cm³), the administration of docetaxel led to tumor growth stasis (from 0.32 ± 0.20 cm³ to 0.45 ± 0.23 cm³). The [¹⁸F]FDG/ADC cluster analysis and the evaluation of peak histogram values revealed a significant treatment effect matching histology as opposed to [¹⁸F]FLT/ADC. [¹⁸F]FLT uptake and the Ki67 index were not in good agreement. Our voxel-based cluster analysis uncovered treatment effects not seen in the separate inspection of PET and MRI data and may be used as an independent analysis tool. [¹⁸F]FLT/ADC cluster analysis could still point out the treatment effect; however, [¹⁸F]FDG/ADC reflected the histology findings in higher agreement.

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