Oxygen-15 positron-emission tomography for predicting selective delivery of a chemotherapeutic agent to hepatic cancers during angiotensin II-induced hypertension

Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2003 Apr;51(4):349-58. doi: 10.1007/s00280-003-0575-2. Epub 2003 Mar 5.


Purpose: Selective drug delivery is important for successful chemotherapy. In patients with hepatic cancer, we used (15)O-carbon dioxide (steady-state) and (15)O-water (dynamic) positron emission tomography (PET) to evaluate changes in blood flow induced by angiotensin (AT) II in the liver parenchyma, hepatic tumors, and spleen.

Methods: The study group comprised 13 patients, 6 with hepatic metastasis and 7 with hepatocellular carcinoma. PET was performed before and during AT II administration to induce hypertension.

Results: Steady-state PET images showed a preferential increase in blood flow to hepatic tumor compared with liver parenchyma during hypertension. In dynamic PET, tumor blood flow was maintained during induced hypertension while hepatic arterial blood flow, portal blood flow, total hepatic blood flow, and splenic blood flow decreased to 71.4% (not significant), 65% (P<0.01), 67.2% (P<0.001), and 72.3% (P<0.01) of the respective baseline values.

Conclusion: AT II-induced hypertension produced a relative increase in tumor blood flow. Oxygen-15 PET should be useful for predicting preferential drug delivery to hepatic cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angiotensin II / pharmacology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / blood supply
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Hepatic Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Liver Circulation / drug effects*
  • Liver Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Radioisotopes
  • Portal Vein / diagnostic imaging
  • Spleen / blood supply
  • Spleen / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Oxygen Radioisotopes
  • Angiotensin II