Potential role of hypoxia imaging using (18)F-FAZA PET to guide hypoxia-driven interventions (carbogen breathing or dose escalation) in radiation therapy

Radiother Oncol. 2014 Nov;113(2):204-9. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2014.09.016. Epub 2014 Nov 27.


Background and purpose: Hypoxia-driven intervention (oxygen manipulation or dose escalation) could overcome radiation resistance linked to tumor hypoxia. Here, we evaluated the value of hypoxia imaging using (18)F-FAZA PET to predict the outcome and guide hypoxia-driven interventions.

Material and methods: Two hypoxic rat tumor models were used: rhabdomyosarcoma and 9L-glioma. For the irradiated groups, the animals were divided into two subgroups: breathing either room air or carbogen. (18)F-FAZA PET images were obtained just before the irradiation to monitor the hypoxic level of each tumor. Absolute pO2 were also measured using EPR oximetry. Dose escalation was used in Rhabdomyosarcomas.

Results: For 9L-gliomas, a significant correlation between (18)F-FAZA T/B ratio and tumor growth delay was found; additionally, carbogen breathing dramatically improved the tumor response to irradiation. On the contrary, Rhabdomyosarcomas were less responsive to hyperoxic challenge. For that model, an increase in growth delay was observed using dose escalation, but not when combining irradiation with carbogen.

Conclusions: (18)F-FAZA uptake may be prognostic of outcome following radiotherapy and could assess the response of tumor to carbogen breathing. (18)F-FAZA PET may help to guide the hypoxia-driven intervention with irradiation: carbogen breathing in responsive tumors or dose escalation in tumors non-responsive to carbogen.

Keywords: (18)F-FAZA; Carbogen; Dose escalation; EPR; Hypoxia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide / administration & dosage*
  • Cell Hypoxia / drug effects*
  • Cell Hypoxia / physiology
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Glioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Glioma / metabolism
  • Glioma / radiotherapy
  • Male
  • Nitroimidazoles*
  • Oximetry
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Partial Pressure
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / metabolism
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / radiotherapy


  • Nitroimidazoles
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • fluoroazomycin arabinoside
  • carbogen
  • Oxygen