FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Chapman JD , Schneider RF , Urbain JL , Hanks GE
Single-photon emission computed tomography and positron-emission tomography assays for tissue oxygenation
Semin Radiat Oncol. 2001 Jan;11(1) :47-57
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Radiotherapy prescription can now be customized to target the major mechanism(s) of resistance of individual tumors. In that regard, functional imaging techniques should be exploited to identify the dominant mechanism(s). Tumor biology research has identified several mechanisms of tumor resistance that may be unique to radiation treatments. These fall into 3 broad areas associated with (1) tumor hypoxic fraction, (2) tumor growth rate, (3) and the intrinsic radiosensitivity of tumor clonogens. Imaging research has markers in various stages of development for quantifying relevant information about each of these mechanisms, and those that measure tumor oxygenation and predict for radioresistance are the most advanced. Positron-emission tomography (PET) measurement of oxygen 15 has yielded important information, particularly about brain tissue perfusion, metabolism, and function. Indirect markers of tumor hypoxia have exploited the covalent binding of bioreductive intermediates of azomycin-containing compounds whose uptakes are inversely proportional to intracellular oxygen concentrations. Pilot clinical studies with single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and PET detection of radiolabeled markers to tumor hypoxia have been reported. Recently, other studies have attempted to exploit the reduction properties of both technetium and copper chelates for the selective deposition of radioactive metals in hypoxic tissues. A growing number of potentially useful isotopes are now available for labeling several novel chemicals that could have the appropriate specificity and sensitivity. Preclinical studies with "microSPECT" and "microPET" will be important to define the optimal radiodiagnostic(s) for measuring tissue oxygenation and for determining the time after their administration for optimal hypoxic signal acquisition. Radiolabeled markers of growth kinetics and intrinsic radiosensitivity of cells in solid tumors are also being developed. We conclude that radiation oncology is uniquely positioned to benefit from functional imaging markers that identify important mechanisms of tumor radioresistance, since several strategies for overcoming these individual mechanisms have already been identified.
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