Predicting chemotherapy response to paclitaxel with 18F-Fluoropaclitaxel and PET

J Nucl Med. 2006 Dec;47(12):1995-9.


Paclitaxel is used as a chemotherapy drug for the treatment of various malignancies, including breast, ovarian, and lung cancers. To evaluate the potential of a noninvasive prognostic tool for specifically predicting the resistance of tumors to paclitaxel therapy, we examined the tumoral uptake of (18)F-fluoropaclitaxel ((18)F-FPAC) in mice bearing human breast cancer xenografts by using small-animal-dedicated PET and compared (18)F-FPAC uptake with the tumor response to paclitaxel treatment.

Methods: PET data were acquired after tail vein injection of approximately 9 MBq of (18)F-FPAC in anesthetized nude mice bearing breast cancer xenografts. Tracer uptake in reconstructed images was quantified by region-of-interest analyses and compared with the tumor response, as measured by changes in tumor volume, after treatment with paclitaxel.

Results: Mice with tumors that progressed demonstrated lower tumoral uptake of (18)F-FPAC than mice with tumors that did not progress or that regressed (r = 0.55, P < 0.02; n = 19), indicating that low (18)F-FPAC uptake was a significant predictor of chemoresistance. Conversely, high (18)F-FPAC uptake predicted tumor regression. This relationship was found for mice bearing xenografts from cell lines selected to be either sensitive or intrinsically resistant to paclitaxel in vitro.

Conclusion: PET data acquired with (18)F-FPAC suggest that this tracer holds promise for the noninvasive quantification of its distribution in vivo in a straightforward manner. In combination with approaches for examining other aspects of resistance, such quantification could prove useful in helping to predict subsequent resistance to paclitaxel chemotherapy of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes* / pharmacokinetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Paclitaxel