The blood-brain barrier (BBB) represents a major obstacle in delivering therapeutics to brain lesions. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED), a method that bypasses the BBB through direct, cannula-mediated drug delivery, is one solution to maintaining increased, effective drug concentration at these lesions. CED was recently proven safe in a phase I clinical trial against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a childhood cancer. Unfortunately, the exact relationship between drug size, charge, and pharmacokinetic behavior in the brain parenchyma are difficult to observe in vivo. PET imaging of CED-delivered agents allows us to determine these relationships. In this study, we label different modifications of the PDGFRA inhibitor dasatinib with fluorine-18 or via a nanofiber-zirconium-89 system so that the effect of drug structure on post-CED behavior can accurately be tracked in vivo, via PET. Relatively unchanged bioactivity is confirmed in patient- and animal-model-derived cell lines of DIPG. In naïve mice, significant individual variability in CED drug clearance is observed, highlighting a need to accurately understand drug behavior during clinical translation. Generally, the half-life for a drug to clear from a CED site is short for low molecular weight dasatinib analogs that bare different charge; 1-3 (1, 32.2 min (95% CI: 27.7-37.8), 2, 44.8 min (27.3-80.8), and 3, 71.7 min (48.6-127.6) minutes) and is much longer for a dasatinib-nanofiber conjugate, 5, (42.8-57.0 days). Positron emission tomography allows us to accurately measure the effect of drug size and charge in monitoring real-time drug behavior in the brain parenchyma of live specimens.
Keywords: DIPG; PET-labeling; convection-enhanced delivery; drug design.