Purpose: Tumor vascular density may provide a prognostic indicator of metastatic potential or survival. The purpose of this study was to develop 99mTc-ethylenedicysteine-endostatin (99mTc-EC-endostatin) for the evaluation of anti-angiogenesis therapy.
Method: 99mTc-EC-endostatin was prepared by conjugating ethylenedicysteine (EC) to endostatin, followed by adding pertechnetate and tin chloride. Radiochemical purity was > 95%. In vitro cell viability, affinity and TUNEL assays were performed. Tissue distribution and planar imaging of radiolabeled endostatin were determined in tumor-bearing rats. To assess anti-angiogenic treatment response, rats were treated with endostatin, paclitaxel and saline, followed by imaging with 99mTc-EC-endostatin. Tumor response to endostatin therapy in tumor-bearing animal models was assessed by correlating tumor uptake dose with microvessel density, VEGF, bFGF and IL-8 expression during endostatin therapy.
Results: In vitro cell viability and TUNEL assays indicated no marked difference between EC-endostatin and endostatin. Cellular uptake assay suggests that endostatin binds to endostatin receptor. Biodistribution of 99mTc-EC-endostatin in tumor-bearing rats showed increased tumor-to-tissue count density ratios as a function of time. Tumor uptake (%ID/g) of 99mTc-EC-endostatin was 0.2-0.5. Planar images confirmed that the tumors could be visualized clearly with 99mTc-EC-endostatin. The optimal time for imaging using radiolabeled endostatin was 2 hrs. 99mTc-EC-endostatin could assess treatment response. There was a correlation between tumor uptake and cellular targets expression.
Conclusion: The results indicate that it is feasible to use 99mTc-EC-endostatin to assess efficiency of anti-angiogenesis therapy.