Non-invasive imaging of angiogenesis could ease the optimization of antiangiogenesis treatments for cancer. In this study, we evaluated the role of VEGF-PET as a biomarker of dynamic angiogenic changes in tumors following treatment with the kinase inhibitor sunitinib. The effects of sunitinib treatment and withdrawal on the tumor was investigated using the new VEGF-PET tracer (89)Zr-ranibizumab as well as (18)F-FDG PET, and (15)O-water PET in mouse xenograft models of human cancer. The obtained imaging results were compared with tumor growth, VEGF plasma levels and immunohistologic analyzes. In contrast to (18)F-FDG and (15)O-water PET, VEGF-PET demonstrated dynamic changes during sunitinib treatment within the tumor with a strong decline in signal in the tumor center and only minimal reduction in tumor rim, with a pronounced rebound after sunitinib discontinuation. VEGF-PET results corresponded with tumor growth and immunohistochemical vascular- and tumor- markers. Our findings highlight the strengths of VEGF-PET imaging to allow serial analysis of angiogenic changes in different areas within a tumor.
© 2010 AACR.