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J Nucl Med. 2018 Jul 20. pii: jnumed.118.211516. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.118.211516. [Epub ahead of print]

Sensitivity and Isoform Specificity of 18F-Fluorofuranylnorprogesterone for Measuring Progesterone Receptor Protein Response to Estradiol Challenge in Breast Cancer.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of 21-18F-fluoro-16α,17α-[(R)-(1'-α-furylmethylidene)dioxy]-19-norpregn-4-ene-3,20-dione (18F-FFNP) to measure alterations in progesterone receptor (PR) protein level and isoform expression in response to estradiol challenge. Methods: T47D human breast cancer cells and female mice-bearing T47D tumor xenografts were treated with 17β-estradiol (E2) to increase PR expression. 18F-FFNP uptake was measured using cell uptake and tissue biodistribution assays. MDA-MB-231 breast cancer clonal cell lines were generated that express the A or B isoforms of human PR. PR protein levels, transcriptional function, and subcellular localization were determined. In vitro 18F-FFNP binding was measured via saturation and competitive binding curves. In vivo 18F-FFNP uptake was measured using tumor xenografts and positron emission tomography. Statistical significance was determined using analysis of variance and t-tests. Results: After 48 and 72 h of E2, 18F-FFNP uptake in T47D cells was maximally increased compared to both vehicle and 24 h E2 treatment (p<0.0001 vs ethanol; P = 0.02 and P = 0.0002 vs 24 h for 48 and 72 h, respectively). T47D tumor xenografts in mice treated with 72 h E2 had maximal 18F-FFNP uptake compared to ethanol-treated mice (11.3±1.4 vs 5.2±0.81 %ID/g; P = 0.002). Corresponding tumor-to-muscle uptake ratios were 4.1±0.6, 3.9±0.5, and 2.3±0.4 for 48 h E2, 72 h E2, and ethanol-treated mice, respectively. There was no significant preferential 18F-FFNP binding or uptake by PR-A versus PR-B in the PR isoform-specific cell lines and tumor xenografts. Conclusion:18F-FFNP is capable of measuring estrogen-induced shifts in total PR expression in human breast cancer cells and tumor xenografts with equivalent isoform binding.


18F-FFNP; Animal Imaging; Breast cancer; Estradiol challenge; Oncology: Breast; PET/CT; PR isoforms; Progesterone receptor


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