Iodine-123-vascular endothelial growth factor-165 (123I-VEGF165). Biodistribution, safety and radiation dosimetry in patients with pancreatic carcinoma

Q J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004 Sep;48(3):198-206.


Aim: Imaging with radiolabelled vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been developed for the localisation and diagnosis of a variety of human solid tumors including gastrointestinal tumors.

Methods: In this study we investigated the biodistribution, safety and absorbed dose of iodine-123 radiolabelled VEGF(165) ((123)I-VEGF(165)) in 9 patients with pancreatic carcinoma. Following intravenous administration of (123)I-VEGF(165) (189+/-17 MBq; <130 pmole (<5 microg) VEGF(165) per patient), sequential images were recorded during the initial 30 min PI. Serial whole-body images were acquired in anterior and posterior views at various time points. All patients underwent single-photon emission tomography (SPET) imaging. Dosimetry calculations were performed on the basis of gamma camera data. Estimates of radiation absorbed dose were calculated using the MIRDOSE 3 program.

Results: The highest absorbed organ doses were found to be thyroid (0.058+/-0.004 mGy/MBq), spleen (0.046+/- 0.017 mGy/MBq), urinary bladder (0.04+/-0.02 mGy/MBq), lungs (0.034+/-0.009 mGy/MBq) and kidneys (0.033+/-0.005 mGy/MBq). The effective dose was estimated to be 0.017+/-0.002 mSv/MBq. A majority of primary pancreatic tumors and their metastases were visualized by (123)I-VEGF(165) scan.

Conclusion: In vitro binding results confirmed specific binding of (123)I-VEGF(165) to pancreatic tumor cells and tissues. (123)I-VEGF(165) shows favorable dosimetry and is a safe radiopharmaceutical that may be of potential value for the imaging of VEGF receptor status in vivo.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Body Burden
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / adverse effects
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Specificity
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiometry / methods
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / adverse effects
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / adverse effects
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / pharmacokinetics*


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor