PET radiotracer [18F]-P6 selectively targeting COX-1 as a novel biomarker in ovarian cancer: Preliminary investigation

Maria Grazia Perrone, Paola Malerba, Md Jashim Uddin, Paola Vitale, Andrea Panella, Brenda C. Crews, Cristina K. Daniel, Kebreab Ghebreselasie, Mike Nickels, Mohammed N. Tantawy, H. Charles Manning, Lawrence J. Marnett, Antonio Scilimati

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32 Scopus citations


Cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1), but not COX-2, is expressed at high levels in the early stages of human epithelial ovarian cancer where it seems to play a key role in cancer onset and progression. As a consequence, COX-1 is an ideal biomarker for early ovarian cancer detection. A series of novel fluorinated COX-1-targeted imaging agents derived from P6 was developed by using a highly selective COX-1 inhibitor as a lead compound. Among these new compounds, designed by structural modification of P6, 3-(5-chlorofuran-2-yl)-5- (fluoromethyl)-4-phenylisoxazole ([18/19F]-P6) is the most promising derivative [IC50 = 2.0 μM (purified oCOX-1) and 1.37 μM (hOVCAR-3 cell COX-1)]. Its tosylate precursor was also prepared and, a method for radio[18F]chemistry was developed and optimized. The radiochemistry was carried out using a carrier-free K18F/Kryptofix 2.2.2 complex, that afforded [18F]-P6 in good radiochemical yield (18%) and high purity (>95%). In vivo PET/CT imaging data showed that the radiotracer [18F]-P6 was selectively taken up by COX-1-expressing ovarian carcinoma (OVCAR 3) tumor xenografts as compared with the normal leg muscle. Our results suggest that [18F]-P6 might be an useful radiotracer in preclinical and clinical settings for in vivo PET-CT imaging of tissues that express elevated levels of COX-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-568
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
StatePublished - Jun 10 2014


  • Biomarker
  • Cyclooxygenase (COX)-1
  • OVCAR-3 cell
  • Ovarian cancer
  • PET-CT imaging


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