Diffusion-weighted MRI for imaging cell death after cytotoxic or apoptosis-inducing therapy.
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<h4>Background</h4>Non-invasive serial imaging is desirable to detect processes such as necrotic and apoptotic cell death in cancer patients undergoing treatment. This study investigated the use of diffusion-weighted (DW-) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for imaging cell death induced by either a cytotoxic drug (irinotecan), or the apoptosis-inducing agent birinapant, in human tumour xenografts in vivo.<h4>Methods</h4>Nude mice bearing human SW620 colon carcinoma xenografts were treated with vehicle, irinotecan (50 mg kg(-1)) or birinapant (30 mg kg(-1)) for up to 5 days. DW-MRI was performed prior to and on days 1, 3 and 5 during treatment. Assessment of tumour apoptosis and necrosis ex vivo was used to validate the imaging findings.<h4>Results</h4>Both irinotecan and birinapant induced significant tumour growth delay. Irinotecan induced a small increase in the tumour apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) after 1 day, with a 20 and 30% increase at days 3 and 5 respectively. ADC was unchanged in the vehicle- and birinapant-treated tumours despite a growth delay in the latter. Histological analysis showed that irinotecan increased necrosis at days 3 and 5, and induced apoptosis after 1 day, compared with vehicle. Birinapant induced apoptosis after day 3, but had no effect on tumour necrosis.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Tumour ADC changes after irinotecan treatment were associated with the induction of a mixture of necrotic and apoptotic cell death, whereas induction of apoptosis alone with birinapant was not sufficient to induce changes in tissue microstructure that were detectable with DW-MRI. ADC is a useful non-invasive biomarker for early detection of response to cytotoxic drugs, but false negatives may arise while detecting apoptotic response to birinapant.
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Tumor Cells, Cultured
Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
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British journal of cancer, 2015, 112 (9), pp. 1471 - 1479