The influence of tumor oxygenation on hypoxia imaging in murine squamous cell carcinoma using [64Cu]Cu-ATSM or [18F]Fluoromisonidazole positron emission tomography

Int J Oncol. 2007 Apr;30(4):873-81.


[64Cu]Cu(II)-ATSM (64Cu-ATSM) and [18F]-Fluoromisonidazole (18F-FMiso) tumor binding as assessed by positron emisson topography (PET) was used to determine the responsiveness of each probe to modulation in tumor oxygenation levels in the SCCVII tumor model. Animals bearing the SCCVII tumor were injected with 64Cu-ATSM or 18F-FMiso followed by dynamic small animal PET imaging. Animals were imaged with both agents using different inspired oxygen mixtures (air, 10% oxygen, carbogen) which modulated tumor hypoxia as independently assessed by the hypoxia marker pimonidazole. The extent of hypoxia in the SCCVII tumor as monitored by the pimonidazole hypoxia marker was found to be in the following order: 10% oxygen>air>carbogen. Tumor uptake of 64Cu-ATSM could not be changed if the tumor was oxygenated using carbogen inhalation 90 min post-injection suggesting irreversible cellular uptake of the 64Cu-ATSM complex. A small but significant paradoxical increase in 64Cu-ATSM tumor uptake was observed for animals breathing air or carbogen compared to 10% oxygen. There was a positive trend toward 18F-FMiso tumor uptake as a function of changing hypoxia levels in agreement with the pimonidazole data. 64Cu-ATSM tumor uptake was unable to predictably detect changes in varying amounts of hypoxia when oxygenation levels in SCCVII tumors were modulated. 18F-FMiso tumor uptake was more responsive to changing levels of hypoxia. While the mechanism of nitroimidazole binding to hypoxic cells has been extensively studied, the avid binding of Cu-ATSM to tumors may involve other mechanisms independent of hypoxia that warrant further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Mice
  • Misonidazole / analogs & derivatives*
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Oxygen / pharmacology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Thiosemicarbazones*


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Thiosemicarbazones
  • copper (II) diacetyl-di(N(4)-methylthiosemicarbazone)
  • fluoromisonidazole
  • Misonidazole
  • Oxygen