An experimental study on O-[18F]fluoromethyl-L-tyrosine for differentiation between tumor and inflammatory tissues

Ann Nucl Med. 2005 Oct;19(7):589-95. doi: 10.1007/BF02985052.


Objective: O-[18F]fluoromethyl-L-tyrosine (18F-FMT) is a recently developed tumor-detecting agent with simple preparation and high radiochemical yields. The aim of this study was to assess the potency of 18F-FMT for differentiating tumor and inflammatory tissues using an animal model with an implanted tumor and experimentally induced inflammatory foci.

Methods: An ascites hepatoma cell line, AH109A, turpentine oil and Staphylococcus aureus were inoculated subcutaneously into Donryu rats as a tumor model, aseptic inflammation model and bacterial infection model, respectively. The biodistribution of radioactivity was assessed in rats at 5, 10, 30, 60, and 120 min after injection with 18F-FMT. Dual tracer whole-body and macro autoradiographies were performed 60 min after injection with a mixture of 18F-FMT and 2-deoxy-D-[1-14C]glucose (14C-DG).

Results: Tumor uptake of 18F-FMT was on average 1.27% injected dose per gram of tissue (%ID/g) and 1.43% ID/g at 30 min and 60 min, respectively and significantly higher than that in other normal tissues, except the pancreas (3.48% ID/g at 60 min). The uptakes in the aseptic and bacterial inflammatory tissues were very low and were not different from those of the background tissues. Dual tracer whole-body and macro autoradiographic studies showed that tumor uptake of 18F-FMT was clearly higher than uptake by the other tissues, while 18F-FMT accumulated much less both in aseptic and bacterial inflammatory tissues. In contrast, the 14C-DG images showed high accumulations not only in tumors but also in aseptic and bacterial inflammatory tissues.

Conclusion: 18F-FMT seems to be a promissing tracer for the differentiation between tumor and inflammation because of higher specificity to tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / metabolism*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Male
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Rats
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnostic imaging*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / metabolism*
  • Tyrosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tyrosine / pharmacokinetics


  • O-(18F)fluoromethyl-L-tyrosine
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tyrosine