Evaluation of Novel 64Cu-Labeled Theranostic Gadolinium-Based Nanoprobes in HepG2 Tumor-Bearing Nude Mice

Nanoscale Res Lett. 2017 Sep 6;12(1):523. doi: 10.1186/s11671-017-2292-5.


Radiation therapy of liver cancer is limited by low tolerance of the liver to radiation. Radiosensitizers can effectively reduce the required radiation dose. AGuIX nanoparticles are small, multifunctional gadolinium-based nanoparticles that can carry radioisotopes or fluorescent markers for single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), fluorescence imaging, and even multimodality imaging. In addition, due to the high atomic number of gadolinium, it can also serve as a tumor radiation sensitizer. It is critical to define the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of these gadolinium-based nanoparticles to quantitate the magnitude and duration of their retention within the tumor microenvironment during radiotherapy. Therefore, in this study, we successfully labeled AGuIX with 64Cu through the convenient built-in chelator. The biodistribution studies indicated that the radiotracer 64Cu-AGuIX accumulates to high levels in the HepG2 xenograft of nude mice, suggesting that it would be a potential theranostic nanoprobe for image-guided radiotherapy in HCC. We also used a transmission electron microscope to confirm AGuIX uptake in the HepG2 cells. In radiation therapy studies, a decrease in 18F-FDG uptake was observed in the xenografts of the nude mice irradiated with AGuIX, which was injected 1 h before. These results provide proof-of-concept that AGuIX can be used as a theranostic radiosensitizer for PET imaging to guide radiotherapy for liver cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; MRI; Molecular imaging; Nanoparticles; PET; Radiotherapy.