Integrin-Targeted Hybrid Fluorescence Molecular Tomography/X-ray Computed Tomography for Imaging Tumor Progression and Early Response in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Integrins play an important role in tumor progression, invasion and metastasis. Therefore we aimed to evaluate a preclinical imaging approach applying ανβ3 integrin targeted hybrid Fluorescence Molecular Tomography/X-ray Computed Tomography (FMT-XCT) for monitoring tumor progression as well as early therapy response in a syngeneic murine Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) model. Lewis Lung Carcinomas were grown orthotopically in C57BL/6 J mice and imaged in-vivo using a ανβ3 targeted near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) probe. ανβ3-targeted FMT-XCT was able to track tumor progression. Cilengitide was able to substantially block the binding of the NIRF probe and suppress the imaging signal. Additionally mice were treated with an established chemotherapy regimen of Cisplatin and Bevacizumab or with a novel MEK inhibitor (Refametinib) for 2 weeks. While μCT revealed only a moderate slowdown of tumor growth, ανβ3 dependent signal decreased significantly compared to non-treated mice already at one week post treatment. ανβ3 targeted imaging might therefore become a promising tool for assessment of early therapy response in the future.


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