Imaging the norepinephrine transporter in neuroblastoma: a comparison of [18F]-MFBG and 123I-MIBG

Hanwen Zhang, Ruimin Huang, Nai-Kong V Cheung, Hongfen Guo, Pat B Zanzonico, Howard T Thaler, Jason S Lewis, Ronald G Blasberg
Clinical Cancer Research 2014 April 15, 20 (8): 2182-91

PURPOSE: The norepinephrine transporter (NET) is a critical regulator of catecholamine uptake in normal physiology and is expressed in neuroendocrine tumors like neuroblastoma. Although the norepinephrine analog, meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), is an established substrate for NET, (123)I/(131)I-MIBG has several clinical limitations for diagnostic imaging. In the current studies, we evaluated meta-[(18)F]-fluorobenzylguanidine ([(18)F]-MFBG) and compared it with (123)I-MIBG for imaging NET-expressing neuroblastomas.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: NET expression levels in neuroblastoma cell lines were determined by Western blot and (123)I-MIBG uptake assays. Five neuroblastoma cell lines and two xenografts (SK-N-BE(2)C and LAN1) expressing different levels of NET were used for comparative in vitro and in vivo uptake studies.

RESULTS: The uptake of [(18)F]-MFBG in cells was specific and proportional to the expression level of NET. Although [(18)F]-MFBG had a 3-fold lower affinity for NET and an approximately 2-fold lower cell uptake in vitro compared with that of (123)I-MIBG, the in vivo imaging and tissue radioactivity concentration measurements demonstrated higher [(18)F]-MFBG xenograft uptake and tumor-to-normal organ ratios at 1 and 4 hours after injection. A comparison of 4 hours [(18)F]-MFBG PET (positron emission tomography) imaging with 24 hours (123)I-MIBG SPECT (single-photon emission computed tomography) imaging showed an approximately 3-fold higher tumor uptake of [(18)F]-MFBG, but slightly lower tumor-to-background ratios in mice.

CONCLUSIONS: [(18)F]-MFBG is a promising radiopharmaceutical for specifically imaging NET-expressing neuroblastomas, with fast pharmacokinetics and whole-body clearance. [(18)F]-MFBG PET imaging shows higher sensitivity, better detection of small lesions with low NET expression, allows same day scintigraphy with a shorter image acquisition time, and has the potential for lower patient radiation exposure compared with (131)I/(123)I-MIBG.


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"