Imaging melphalan therapy response in preclinical extramedullary multiple myeloma with 18F-FDOPA and 18F-FDG PET

Deep K. Hathi, Elizabeth N. DeLassus, Samuel Achilefu, Jonathan McConathy, Monica Shokeen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a debilitating neoplasm of terminally differentiated plasma B cells that resulted in over 13,000 deaths in 2017 alone. Combination therapies involving melphalan, a smallmolecule DNA alkylating agent, are commonly prescribed to patients with relapsed or refractory MM, necessitating the stratification of responding patients to minimize toxicities and improve quality of life. Here, we evaluated the use of 3,4-dihydroxy-6-18F-fluoro-Lphenylalanine (18F-FDOPA), a clinically available PET radiotracer with specificity to the L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), which also mediates melphalan uptake, for imaging melphalan therapy response in a preclinical immunocompetent model of MM. Methods: C57BL/KaLwRij mice were implanted subcutaneously with unilateral murine green fluorescent protein-expressing 5TGM1 tumors and divided into 3 independent groups: untreated, treated beginning week 2 after tumor implantation, and treated beginning week 3 after tumor implantation. The untreated and week 2 treated groups were imaged with preclinical MRI and dynamic 18F-FDG and 18FFDOPA PET/CT at week 4 on separate, contiguous days, whereas the week 3 treated group was longitudinally imaged weekly for 3 wk. Metabolic tumor volume, total lesion avidity, SUVmax, and total uptake were calculated for both tracers. Immunohistochemistry was performed on representative tissue from all groups for LAT1 and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) expression. Results: Melphalan therapy induced a statistically significant reduction in lesion avidity and uptake for both 18F-FDG and 18F-FDOPA. There was no visible effect on GLUT1 expression, but LAT1 density increased in the week 2 treated group. Longitudinal imaging of the week 3 treated group showed variable changes in 18F-FDG and 18F-FDOPA uptake, with an increase in 18F-FDOPA lesion avidity in the second week relative to baseline. LAT1 and GLUT1 surface density in the untreated and week 3 treated groups were qualitatively similar. Conclusion: 18F-FDOPA PET/CT complemented 18F-FDG PET/CT in imaging melphalan therapy response in preclinical extramedullary MM. 18F-FDOPA uptake was linked to LAT1 expression and melphalan response, with longitudinal imaging suggesting stabilization of LAT1 levels and melphalan tumor cytotoxicity. Future work will explore additional MM cell lines with heterogeneous LAT1 expression and response to melphalan therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1551-1557
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Melphalan therapy response
  • Multiple myeloma


Dive into the research topics of 'Imaging melphalan therapy response in preclinical extramedullary multiple myeloma with 18F-FDOPA and 18F-FDG PET'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this