Introduction: We examined whether the amino acid PET tracers, trans-1-amino-3-<sup>18</sup>F-fluorocyclobutanecarboxylic acid (anti-<sup>18</sup>F-FACBC) and <sup>11</sup>C-methyl-l-methionine (<sup>11</sup>C-Met), are suitable for detecting early responses to combination therapies including temozolomide (TMZ), interferon-β (IFN), and bevacizumab (Bev) in glioblastoma. Methods: Human glioblastoma U87MG (U87) cells were incubated with low dose TMZ to induce chemoresistance. Both trans-1-amino-3-fluoro-1-<sup>14</sup>C-cyclobutanecarboxylic acid (anti-<sup>14</sup>C-FACBC) and <sup>3</sup>H-methyl-l-methionine (<sup>3</sup>H-Met) uptake were quantified using triple-label accumulation assays to examine the relationship between tracer uptake and proliferation (<sup>3</sup>H-thymidine (TdR) accumulation) in vitro. U87 and U87R (TMZ-resistant subculture) cells were inoculated into the right and left basal ganglia, respectively, of F344/N-rnu rats. The efficacy of single-agent (TMZ, Bev) and combination therapy (TMZ/IFN, TMZ/Bev, TMZ/IFN/Bev) was examined in orthotopic gliomas using MRI, Evans blue extravasation, anti-<sup>14</sup>C-FACBC, and <sup>3</sup>H-Met autoradiography, and MIB-1 immunostaining. Results: TMZ treatment decreased <sup>3</sup>H-TdR accumulation and the volume distribution of anti-<sup>14</sup>C-FACBC and <sup>3</sup>H-Met in U87 but not U87R cells. TMZ/IFN combination therapy significantly decreased these parameters in U87R cells; however, Bev had no additional effect in vitro. In vivo, U87R-derived gliomas were observed as equivocal tumors on MRI and T2-high intensity lesions. Bev treatment, either alone or in combination, markedly decreased U87 enhancing lesions. By contrast, autoradiographic images using anti-<sup>14</sup>C-FACBC and <sup>3</sup>H-Met clearly delineated tumor extent, which spread widely beyond T2-high intensity lesions and enhancing lesions. TMZ therapy significantly decreased tracer accumulation and proliferation of U87- but not U87R-derived tumors. TMZ/IFN combination treatment significantly decreased these parameters in U87R tumors, which were further reduced (in both tumor types) by Bev addition. Tracer uptake correlated with the MIB-1 proliferation index. However, MRI was unsuitable for tumor delineation and assessment of Bev treatment response. Conclusions: Triple-agent therapy (TMZ/IFN/Bev) was effective against even TMZ-resistant glioblastomas. PET with amino acid tracers provides useful information on the early response of glioblastomas to single-agent and combination therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Molecular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging