Background: Multiple myeloma (MM) is a disease of cancerous plasma cells in the bone marrow. Imaging-based timely determination of therapeutic response is critical for improving outcomes in MM patients. Very late antigen-4 (VLA4, CD49d/CD29) is overexpressed in MM cells. Here, we evaluated [18F]FDG and VLA4 targeted [64Cu]Cu-LLP2A for quantitative PET imaging in disseminated MM models of variable VLA4 expression, following bortezomib therapy. Methods: In vitro and ex vivo VLA4 expression was evaluated by flow cytometry. Human MM cells, MM.1S-CG and U266-CG (C: luciferase and G: green fluorescent protein), were injected intravenously in NOD-SCID gamma mice. Tumor progression was monitored by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Treatment group received bortezomib (1 mg/kg, twice/week) intraperitoneally. All cohorts (treated, untreated and no tumor) were longitudinally imaged with [18F]FDG (7.4–8.0 MBq) and [64Cu]Cu-LLP2A (2–3 MBq; Molar Activity: 44.14 ± 1.40 MBq/nmol) PET, respectively. Results: Flow cytometry confirmed high expression of CD49d in U266 cells (> 99%) and moderate expression in MM.1S cells (~ 52%). BLI showed decrease in total body flux in treated mice. In MM.1S-CG untreated versus treated mice, [64Cu]Cu-LLP2A localized with a significantly higher SUVmean in spine (0.58 versus 0.31, p < 0.01) and femur (0.72 versus 0.39, p < 0.05) at week 4 post-tumor inoculation. There was a four-fold higher uptake of [64Cu]Cu-LLP2A (SUVmean) in untreated U266-CG mice compared to treated mice at 3 weeks post-treatment. Compared to [64Cu]Cu-LLP2A, [18F]FDG PET detected treatment-related changes at later time points. Conclusion: [64Cu]Cu-LLP2A is a promising tracer for timely in vivo assessment of therapeutic response in disseminated models of MM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number97
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021


  • Bortezomib (proteasome inhibitor) therapy
  • Multiple myeloma (MM)
  • Therapy response
  • Very late antigen-4 (VLA4)
  • [Cu]Cu-LLP2A
  • [F]FDG


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