Evaluation of targeted therapy in ovarian cancer

October 01, 2010

Reston, Va.-- Research reported in the October issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM) shows that a molecular imaging technique may prove useful in early assessment of treatment response for cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer.

"One of the most promising aspects of molecular imaging is its potential capacity to measure therapy effects long before changes in the tumor size and shape are detected," said Marijke De Saint-Hubert, medical scientist in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium, and one of the authors on an invited perspective article in JNM that comments on the study. It is important to identify response to therapy as early as possible so that ineffective therapies can be discontinued. Patients who are not responding to a given therapy may be suffering from unnecessary side effects and may also be offered potentially more effective treatments.

The chemotherapy drug cisplatin is often effective against ovarian cancer when first given; however, tumors can become resistant to the drug and start growing again, so the need for second-line therapies is pressing. One potential way to overcome cisplatin resistance is to target the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The aim of the study was to evaluate the ability of 18F-FLT, a PET probe for cell proliferation, to predict early response to everolimus (an mTOR inhibitor) in a mouse model of subcutaneously transplanted human cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer.

The study showed that 18F-FLT PET was able to predict early response to mTOR inhibition in a cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer in mice. The researchers suggest that this technique should be considered for therapeutic assessment in humans. They also point out the technique's potential to non-invasively and longitudinally monitor the efficacy of combination therapy.

"PET imaging could be used to evaluate the treatment's efficacy very early after treatment initiation--at a time when conventional criteria based on tumor size measurements are useless," said Nicolas Aide, M.D., Centre for Molecular Imaging at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Australia, one of the authors of the study.
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Authors of the scientific article, "18F-FLT PET as a Surrogate Marker of Drug Efficacy During mTOR Inhibition by Everolimus in a Preclinical Cisplatin-Resistant Ovarian Tumor Model," include: Nicolas Aide, Bioticla Team, EA1772, IFR 146 ICORE, GRECAN, François Baclesse Cancer Centre and Caen University, Caen, France, PET Unit, Caen University Hospital and François Baclesse Cancer Centre, Caen, France; Nicolas Aide, Kathryn Kinross, Peter Roselt, Oliver Neels, Donna Dorow, Grant McArthur, Rodney J. Hicks, Centre for Molecular Imaging and Translational Research Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Australia; Carleen Cullinane, Kelly Waldeck, Donna Dorow, Grant McArthur, Rodney J. Hicks, and Kathryn Kinross, Sir Donald and Lady Trescowthick Laboratories, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, East Melbourne, Australia; and Grant McArthur and Rodney J. Hicks, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.

Authors of the invited perspective, "Can Evaluation of Targeted Therapy in Oncology Be Improved by Means of 18F-FLT?" include Marijke De Saint-Hubert and Lieselot Brepoels, Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Gasthuisberg Leuven, Leuven, Belgium; and Felix M. Mottaghy, Department of Nuclear Medicine, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Aachen, Germany, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Please visit the SNM Newsroom to view the PDFs of the studies. To schedule an interview with the researchers, please contact Jane Kollmer at (703) 326-1184 or jkollmer@snm.org or Rebecca Maxey at (703) 652-6772 or rmaxey@snm.org. Current and past issues of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be found online at http://jnm.snmjournals.org.



About SNM--Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy

SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today's medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated.

SNM's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit http://www.snm.org.

Society of Nuclear Medicine

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