Multicellular Tumour Spheroids in a Translational PET Imaging Strategy
Sammanfattning: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) has gained an important roll in clinical for diagnosis, staging and prognosis of a range of cancer types. Utilization of PET for monitoring and evaluation of cancer treatment is an attractive but almost new concept. The proper choice of PET-tracer as a biomarker for treatment follow-up is crucial. The important characteristic for a suitable tracer is its ability to reflect the response to a treatment at an early stage, before any morphologically changes occurs. It would be an advantage to screen a battery of PET tracers in a preclinical model and introduce a few potential tracers in clinical trial.The most conventional pre-clinical approach in PET-oncology utilizes xenografts in mice or rats and requires a large number of subjects. It would be a great advantage to introduce a less demanding but still reliable preclinical method for a more efficient planning of studies in animal model and then in human trials.The Multicellular Tumour Spheroid (MTS) system represents an intermediary level between cells growing as monolayer and solid tumours in experimental animals or patients. It mimics the growth of naturally occurring human tumours before neovascularization and appears to be more informative than monolayer and more economical and more ethical than animal models.The aim of this work was to establish, refine and evaluate the application of MTS model as a preclinical approach in PET oncology. The vision was to introduce a preclinical method to probe and select PET tracer for treatment monitoring of anticancer drugs, which can hopefully be applied for optimization in breast cancer treatment.In this thesis, a number of basic experiments were performed to explore the character of 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) uptake in MTS. FDG as the most established PET tracer was an obvious initial option for the evaluation of the model. For further assess-ment, we studied effects on FDG uptake in MTS treated with five routinely used chemother-apy agents. For association of PET tracer uptake to size change of MTS, we developed a reliable and user-friendly method for size determination of MTS. The next step was to apply the MTS model to screen PET tracers for analysis of early response of chemotherapy in breast cancer. Finally the method was utilized for translational imaging exemplified with a new chemotherapy agent.The results were encouraging and the MTS model was introduced and evaluated as a preclini-cal tool in PET oncology. The method was implicated to in vitro quickly assess a therapy profile of existing and newly developed anticancer drugs in order to investigate the effects of candidate drugs on tumour-growth, selection of appropriate PET tracer for treatment monitor-ing and finally understanding relation between growth inhibition and biomarkers as part of translational imaging activities.
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