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Michael Winterdahl

[11C] labeled erlotinib as a new radiotracer for identification of patients responding to erlotinib treatment: A preliminary study on lung cancer patients

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperConference abstract in journalResearch

  • Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • The Department of Oncology
  • Positron Emission Tomography Center
  • Diagnostic Radiology
Erlotinib (Tarceva®) is a tailored drug targeting the Epidermal
Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), which is commonly overexpressed
in various human cancers including lung cancer. The purpose of
this study was to develop a method for identification of lung cancer
patients that respond to erlotinib treatment by PET scanning. We
demonstrate that erlotinib can be labeled with [11C] by reacting the
normethyl precursor with [11C] methyl iodide followed by HPLC
First we tested [11C] erlotinib on nude mice xenografted with lung
cancer cell lines with either a high (A549, NCI358) or low (HCC827)
degree of sensitivity to erlotinib treatment. Dynamic micro-PET studies
showed that the sensitive tumors had the highest [11C] erlotinib
uptake among all tumor models examined. These results were also
confirmed on biodistribution studies with [11C] erlotinib. In mice
carrying the sensitive cancer cells the accumulation of [11C] erlotinib
was higher in the tumor than in all other organs except the liverwhich is the main organ of erlotinib metabolism (Cancer Research,
2009 69: 873-878).
We have now extended this study to patients with the aim to identify
the subset of patients that will respond to Erlotinib treatment (10-15
%). Tumors were identified by routine CT scan and [18F]-2-fluoro-
2-deoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT and compared with [11C] erlotinib
PET/CT. As expected, all patients examined so far (n=4) showed
[18F] FDG uptake. Our results with [11C] erlotinib show that tumors
can be identified by [11C] erlotinib. However we do not know yet
if this accumulation can be used to identify the subgroup of patients
responding to erlotinib.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Pages (from-to)S698
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event13th World Conference on Lung Cancer - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 31 Aug 20094 Sep 2009


Conference13th World Conference on Lung Cancer
CountryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

    Research areas

  • PET scanning, lung cancer, erlotinib, Tarceva, EGFR

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