News | PET-CT | May 02, 2017

Dutch study finds nuclear imaging accurately measures drug uptake in children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

PET/CT Helps Predict Therapy Effectiveness in Pediatric Brain Tumors

FIGURE: MRI AND PET-MRI FUSION IMAGES OF PATIENTS WITH DIPG. Top row: Zr-89-bevacizumab PET (144 hrs p.i.) fused with T1-Gd weighted MRI per patient; middle row: T1-Gd weighted MRI; lower row: T2-weighted/FLAIR MR-images. Five tumors show variable uptake of Zr-89-bevacizumab (white arrows), with both PET negative and positive areas within each tumor. Two primary tumors are completely PET negative (Fig. 1C and 1E), while the T2 weighted images show tumor infiltration in the whole pons of both patients. In the middle row, the red arrows represent the areas of contrast enhancement within the tumor. In four out of five primary tumors, the PET-positive area corresponds with the contrast-enhancing area on MRI of the tumors (Fig. 1A, 1B, 1F and 1G). In Fig. 1C, the tumor shows an MRI contrast-enhancing area, while there is no Zr-89-bevacizumab uptake. Fig. 1D shows a PET positive tumor, while no Gd-enhancement is observed on MRI. Credit: Sophie Veldhuijzen van Zanten and Marc Jansen, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


May 2, 2017 — In a first-ever molecular drug-imaging study in children, researchers in The Netherlands used whole-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans to determine whether bevacizumab (Avastin) treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in children is likely to be effective. The study is featured in the May 2017 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Brain cancers are difficult to treat, and it can be hard to predict whether a therapy will be effective. When the patient is a child, it is even more important to predict the potential effectiveness of a drug before beginning treatment.

“Children with DIPG have a very poor prognosis, with less than 10 percent of the patients surviving two years from diagnosis,” explained Guus A. van Dongen, Ph.D., of VU University, Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. “These tumors are resistant to all kinds of therapies. Chemotherapy, as well as new targeted therapies, may not reach the tumor due to the location within the brainstem.”

For the study, researchers investigated whether bevacizumab can reach the tumor in children with DIPG by measuring the tumor uptake of zirconium-89 (Zr-89)-labeled bevacizumab with PET. In addition, they evaluated the safety of the procedure and determined the optimal timing of imaging.

Two weeks after completing radiotherapy, seven patients (age range: 6-17) were given whole-body PET/CT scans performed at 1, 72 and 144 hours post-injection. The optimal moment of scanning was found to be 144 hours post-injection. The patients also underwent contrast (gadolinium)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

“The results showed that indeed there is considerable heterogeneity in uptake of Zr-89-labeled bevacizumab among patients and within tumors,” Van Dongen pointed out. “This non-invasive in vivo quantification of drug distribution and tumor uptake may help to predict therapeutic potential, as well as toxicity, and could help develop strategies for improving drug delivery to tumors.”  

Van Dongen added, “Children with brain tumors and other solid cancers are particularly likely to benefit from molecular drug imaging, as drugs without therapeutic effect — based on a lack of drug-uptake in the tumor — may cause life-long side effects. Molecular drug imaging will open avenues for administering the right drug to the right patient at the most appropriate stage of the disease.”

For more information: www.jnm.snmjournals.org

Related Content

Feature | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | Christine Book

August 10, 2022 — The imaging community has lost a legend, recognized for having revolutionized the field of diagnostic ...

Time August 10, 2022
arrow
News | Breast Imaging

August 8, 2022 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Enhertu (fam-trastuzumab-deruxtecan-nxki), an IV ...

Time August 08, 2022
arrow
News | Lung Imaging

August 8, 2022 — Representatives from the Diagnostics Working Group of the IASLC Early Detection and Screening Committee ...

Time August 08, 2022
arrow
News | Lung Imaging

August 8, 2022 — A clinical trial is only as powerful as its participants. For years, researchers have struggled to fill ...

Time August 08, 2022
arrow
News | Pediatric Imaging

August 3, 2022 — The Jack Martin Fund (JMF) has built on its partnership with the Mount Sinai Health System to provide ...

Time August 03, 2022
arrow
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

July 27, 2022 — Multitasking is not just an office skill. It’s key to functioning as a human, and it involves something ...

Time July 27, 2022
arrow
News | Pediatric Imaging

July 27, 2022 — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has announced that Zoltan Patay, MD, PhD, Department of Diagnostic ...

Time July 27, 2022
arrow
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

July 25, 2022 — For any drug to be successful in treating mental health or neurological problems, the medicine has to ...

Time July 25, 2022
arrow
News | PET Imaging

July 20, 2022 — Blue Earth Diagnostics, a Bracco company and recognized leader in the development and commercialization ...

Time July 20, 2022
arrow
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers

July 20, 2022 — -NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, a global innovator in the development, production and ...

Time July 20, 2022
arrow
Subscribe Now