Positron emission tomography of murine liver metastases and the effects of treatment by combretastatin A-4

Sha Zhao, James V. Moore, Michael L. Waller, Alan T. McGown, John A. Hadfield, George R. Pettit, David L. Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


There are major potential advantages in noninvasive measurement of preclinical tumour biology and therapeutic response in clinically relevant, internal body sites, notably the ability to follow outcome in individual animals rather than averaging results from groups. We have exploited positron emission tomography (PET) to determine the feasibility of detecting liver metastases in B6D2F1 mice using fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) both before and after treatment by the novel cytotoxic agent, combretastatin A-4. The normal distribution of [18F]FDG in the absence of disease was characterised, with the clear delineation of the brain, the heart and the urinary bladder in all studies. In untreated mice with liver metastases, a strong correlation (r2 = 0.98) was found between the quantitative estimates of [18F]FDG uptake obtained by analysis of PET images, and those obtained from ex vivo assay of liver plus metastases excised immediately after imaging. In this first series, the effective limit of resolution was in livers containing a number of small metastases (range 8-14) with a single volume equivalent of approximately 200 mm3. PET image analysis was concordant with histological measurements in showing that single intraperitoneal doses of combretastatin A-4 resulted in an average 30% volume destruction of metastatic mass by 24 h following administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Combretastatin A-4
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Liver
  • Metastasis
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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