Longitudinal noninvasive imaging of progesterone receptor as a predictive biomarker of tumor responsiveness to estrogen deprivation therapy

Szeman Ruby Chan, Amy M. Fowler, Julie A. Allen, Dong Zhou, Carmen S. Dence, Terry L. Sharp, Nicole M. Fettig, Farrokh Dehdashti, John A. Katzenellenbogen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate whether longitudinal functional PET imaging of mammary tumors using the radiopharmaceuticals [18F]FDG (to measure glucose uptake), [18F]FES [to measure estrogen receptor (ER) levels], or [18F]FFNP [to measure progesterone receptor (PgR) levels] is predictive of response to estrogen-deprivation therapy. Experimental Design: [18F]FDG, [18F]FES, and [18F]FFNP uptake in endocrine-sensitive and -resistant mammary tumors was quantified serially by PET before ovariectomy or estrogen withdrawal in mice, and on days 3 and 4 after estrogen-deprivation therapy. Specificity of [18F]FFNP uptake in ERα+ mammary tumors was determined by competition assay using unlabeled ligands for PgR or glucocorticoid receptor (GR). PgR expression was also assayed by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Results: The levels of [18F]FES and [18F]FDG tumor uptake remained unchanged in endocrine-sensitive tumors after estrogen-deprivation therapy compared with those at pretreatment. In contrast, estrogen-deprivation therapy led to a reduction in PgR expression and [18F]FFNP uptake in endocrine-sensitive tumors, but not in endocrine-resistant tumors, as early as 3 days after treatment; the changes in PgR levels were confirmed by IHC. Unlabeled PgR ligand R5020 but not GR ligand dexamethasone blocked [18F]FFNP tumor uptake, indicating that [18F]FFNP bound specifically to PgR. Therefore, a reduction in FFNP tumor to muscle ratio in mammary tumors predicts sensitivity to estrogen-deprivation therapy. Conclusions: Monitoring the acute changes in ERα activity by measuring [18F]FFNP uptake in mammary tumors predicts tumor response to estrogen-deprivation therapy. Longitudinal noninvasive PET imaging using [18F]FFNP is a robust and effective approach to predict tumor responsiveness to endocrine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1070
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

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