Multimodal imaging guided preclinical trials of vascular targeting in prostate cancer.
ABSTRACT: The high mortality rate associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) underscores the need for improving therapeutic options for this patient population. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential of vascular targeting in prostate cancer. Experimental studies were carried out in subcutaneous and orthotopic Myc-CaP prostate tumors implanted into male FVB mice to examine the efficacy of a novel microtubule targeted vascular disrupting agent (VDA), EPC2407 (Crolibulin™). A non-invasive multimodality imaging approach based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), bioluminescence imaging (BLI), and ultrasound (US) was utilized to guide preclinical trial design and monitor tumor response to therapy. Imaging results were correlated with histopathologic assessment, tumor growth and survival analysis. Contrast-enhanced MRI revealed potent antivascular activity of EPC2407 against subcutaneous and orthotopic Myc-CaP tumors. Longitudinal BLI of Myc-CaP tumors expressing luciferase under the androgen response element (Myc-CaP/ARE-luc) revealed changes in AR signaling and reduction in intratumoral delivery of luciferin substrate following castration suggestive of reduced blood flow. This reduction in blood flow was validated by US and MRI. Combination treatment resulted in sustained vascular suppression, inhibition of tumor regrowth and conferred a survival benefit in both models. These results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of vascular targeting in combination with androgen deprivation against prostate cancer.
Project description:Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy in hematologic malignancies has shown remarkable responses, but the same level of success has not been observed in solid tumors. A new prostate cancer model (Myc-CaP:PSMA(+)) and a second-generation anti-hPSMA human CAR T cells expressing a Click Beetle Red luciferase reporter) were used to study hPSMA targeting and assess CAR T cell trafficking and persistence by bioluminescence imaging (BLI). We investigated the antitumor efficacy of human CAR T cells targeting human prostate-specific membrane antigen (hPSMA), in the presence and absence of the target antigen; first alone and then combined with a monoclonal antibody targeting the human programmed death receptor 1 (anti-hPD1 mAb). PDL-1 expression was detected in Myc-CaP murine prostate tumors growing in immune competent FVB/N and immune-deficient SCID mice. Endogenous CD3+ T cells were restricted from the centers of Myc-CaP tumor nodules growing in FVB/N mice. Following anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) treatment, the restriction of CD3+ T cells was reversed, and a tumor-treatment response was observed. Adoptive hPSMA-CAR T cell immunotherapy was enhanced when combined with PD-1 blockade, but the treatment response was of comparatively short duration, suggesting other immune modulation mechanisms exist and restrict CAR T cell targeting, function, and persistence in hPSMA expressing Myc-CaP tumors. Interestingly, an "inverse pattern" of CAR T cell BLI intensity was observed in control and test tumors, which suggests CAR T cells undergo changes leading to a loss of signal and/or number following hPSMA-specific activation. The lower BLI signal intensity in the hPSMA test tumors (compared with controls) is due in part to a decrease in T cell mitochondrial function following T cell activation, which may limit the intensity of the ATP-dependent Luciferin-luciferase bioluminescence signal.
Project description:Vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) represent a relatively distinct class of agents that target established blood vessels in tumors. In this study, we examined the preclinical activity of the second-generation VDA OXi4503 against human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Studies were performed in subcutaneous and orthotopic FaDu-luc HNSCC xenografts established in immunodeficient mice. In the subcutaneous model, bioluminescence imaging (BLI) along with tumor growth measurements was performed to assess tumor response to therapy. In mice bearing orthotopic tumors, a dual modality imaging approach based on BLI and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was utilized. Correlative histologic assessment of tumors was performed to validate imaging data. Dynamic BLI revealed a marked reduction in radiance within a few hours of OXi4503 administration compared to baseline levels. However, this reduction was transient with vascular recovery observed at 24 h post treatment. A single injection of OXi4503 (40 mg/kg) resulted in a significant (p < 0.01) tumor growth inhibition of subcutaneous FaDu-luc xenografts. MRI revealed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in volume of orthotopic tumors at 10 days post two doses of OXi4503 treatment. Corresponding histologic (H&E) sections of Oxi4503 treated tumors showed extensive areas of necrosis and hemorrhaging compared to untreated controls. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report, on the activity of Oxi4503 against HNSCC. These results demonstrate the potential of tumor-VDAs in head and neck cancer. Further examination of the antivascular and antitumor activity of Oxi4503 against HNSCC alone and in combination with chemotherapy and radiation is warranted.
Project description:Vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) have been proposed as an effective broad spectrum approach to cancer therapy, by inducing ischemia leading to hypoxia and cell death. A novel VDA (OXi8007) was recently reported to show rapid acute selective shutdown of tumor vasculature based on color-Doppler ultrasound. We have now expanded investigations to noninvasively assess perfusion and hypoxiation of orthotopic human MDA-MB-231/luc breast tumor xenografts following the administration of OXi8007 based on dynamic bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). BLI showed significantly lower signal four hours after the administration of OXi8007, which was very similar to the response to combretastatin A-4P (CA4P), but the effect lasted considerably longer, with the BLI signal remaining depressed at 72 hrs. Meanwhile, control tumors exhibited minimal change. Oximetry used (19)F MRI of the reporter molecule hexafluorobenzene and FREDOM (Fluorocarbon Relaxometry using Echo Planar Imaging for Dynamic Oxygen Mapping) to assess pO2 distributions during air and oxygen breathing. pO2 decreased significantly upon the administration of OXi8007 during oxygen breathing (from 122 ± 64 to 34 ± 20 Torr), with further decrease upon switching the gas to air (pO2 = 17 ± 9 Torr). pO2 maps indicated intra-tumor heterogeneity in response to OXi8007, though ultimately all tumor regions became hypoxic. Both BLI and FREDOM showed the efficacy of OXi8007. The pO2 changes measured by FREDOM may be crucial for future study of combined therapy.
Project description:The objective of this study was to quantitatively compare tumor imaging by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and molecular bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and test the feasibility of monitoring the effect of MRI-guided laser ablation on tumor viability by 2-dimensional BLI and 3-dimensional diffuse luminescence tomography (3D DLIT) in an orthotopic rat model of hepatocellular carcinoma.This study was approved by the animal care committee. Rats underwent injection of N1S1 cells stably transfected with an empty vector (n = 3) or a heat shock element luciferase reporter (HSE-luc; n = 4) into the liver. All rats underwent MRI to assess tumor establishment and volume and 2-dimensional BLI to assess tumor luminescence at day 7 with subsequent MRI and 2D BLI and 3D DLIT in select animals at days 14 and 21. Magnetic resonance imaging-guided laser ablation of the tumor was performed with preablation and postablation 2D BLI and/or 3D DLIT (n = 2). The tumors underwent histopathologic analysis to assess tumor viability.The MRI scans demonstrated hyperintense T2-weighted lesions at 3 of 3 and 4 of 4 sites in the empty vector and HSE-luc rats, respectively. Two-dimensional BLI quantitation demonstrated 23.0-fold higher radiance in the HSE-luc group compared with the empty vector group at day 7 (P < 0.01) and a significant correlation with tumor volume by MRI (r = 0.86; P < 0.03). Tumor dimensions by 3D DLIT and MRI demonstrated good agreement. Three-dimensional DLIT quantitation demonstrated better agreement with the percentage of nonviable tumor by histopathology than did 2D BLI quantitation after the MRI-guided laser ablation.Bioluminescence imaging is feasible as a noninvasive, quantitative tool for monitoring tumor growth and therapeutic response to thermal ablation in a rat model of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Project description:The insulin-like growth factor binding protein IGFBP-3 is a proapoptotic and antiangiogenic protein in prostate cancer (CaP). Epidemiologic studies suggest that low IGFBP-3 is associated with greater risk of aggressive, metastatic prostate cancers, but in vivo functional data are lacking. Here we show that mice that are genetically deficient in IGFBP-3 exhibit weaker growth of primary prostate tumors but higher incidence of metastatic disease. Prostates in IGFBP-3 knockout mice (IGFBP-3KO mice) failed to undergo apoptosis after castration. Spontaneous prostate tumors did not develop in IGFBP-3KO mice, but splenic lymphomas occurred in 23% of female IGFBP-3KO mice by 80 weeks of age. To assess the effects of IGFBP-3 deficiency on prostate cancer development, we crossed IGFBP-3KO mice with a c-Myc-driven model of CaP that develops slow-growing, nonmetastatic tumors. By 24 weeks of age, well-differentiated prostate cancers were observed in all mice regardless of IGFBP-3 status. However, by 80 weeks of age IGFBP-3KO mice tended to exhibit larger prostate tumors than control mice. More strikingly, lung metastases were observed at this time in 55% of the IGFBP-3KO mice but none in the control animals. Cell lines established from IGFBP-3KO:Myc tumors displayed more aggressive phenotypes in proliferation, invasion, and colony formation assays, relative to control Myc tumor cell lines. In addition, Myc:IGFBP-3KO cells exhibited evidence of epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Our findings established a function for IGFBP-3 in suppressing metastasis in prostate cancer, and they also offered the first reported transgenic model of spontaneous metastatic prostate cancer for studies of this advanced stage of disease.
Project description:Small animal imaging provides diverse methods for evaluating tumor growth and acute response to therapy. This study compared the utility of non-invasive optical and ultrasound imaging to monitor growth of three diverse human tumor xenografts (brain U87-luc-mCherry, mammary MCF7-luc-mCherry, and prostate PC3-luc) growing in nude mice. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI), fluorescence imaging (FLI), and Power Doppler ultrasound (PD US) were then applied to examine acute vascular disruption following administration of arsenic trioxide (ATO).During initial tumor growth, strong correlations were found between manual caliper measured tumor volume and FLI intensity, BLI intensity following luciferin injection, and traditional B-mode US. Administration of ATO to established U87 tumors caused significant vascular shutdown within 2 hrs at all doses in the range 5 to 10 mg/kg in a dose dependant manner, as revealed by depressed bioluminescent light emission. At lower doses substantial recovery was seen within 4 hrs. At 8 mg/kg there was >85% reduction in tumor vascular perfusion, which remained depressed after 6 hrs, but showed some recovery after 24 hrs. Similar response was observed in MCF7 and PC3 tumors. Dynamic BLI and PD US each showed similar duration and percent reductions in tumor blood flow, but FLI showed no significant changes during the first 24 hrs.The results provide further evidence for comparable utility of optical and ultrasound imaging for monitoring tumor growth, More specifically, they confirm the utility of BLI and ultrasound imaging as facile assays of the vascular disruption in solid tumors based on ATO as a model agent.
Project description:Stromal-epithelial interactions dictate prostate tumorigenesis and response to castration. Hydrogen peroxide-inducible clone 5 (Hic-5/ARA55) is a transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-?)-induced coactivator of androgen receptor (AR) expressed in the prostate stroma. Interestingly, following castration, we identified epithelial expression of Hic-5/ARA55 in mouse and human prostate tissues. To determine the role of epithelial Hic-5 in prostate cancer progression and castration responsiveness, we compared LNCaP cells having Hic-5 stably expressed with the parental LNCaP cells following tissue recombination xenografts with mouse prostate stromal cells. We previously identified knocking out prostate stromal TGF-? signaling potentiated castrate-resistant prostate tumors, in a Wnt-dependent manner. The LNCaP chimeric tumors containing prostate fibroblasts conditionally knocked out for the TGF-? type II receptor (Tgfbr2-KO) resulted in larger, more invasive, and castration-resistant tumors compared those with floxed (control) stromal cells. However, the LNCaP-Hic5 associated with Tgfbr2-KO fibroblasts generated chimeric tumors with reduced tumor volume, lack of invasion and restored castration dependence. Neutralization of canonical Wnt signaling is shown to reduce prostate tumor size and restore regression following castration. Thus, we hypothesized that epithelial Hic-5/ARA55 expression negatively regulated Wnt signaling. The mechanism of the Hic-5/ARA55 effects on castration was determined by analysis of the c-myc promoter. C-myc luciferase reporter activity suggested Hic-5/ARA55 expression inhibited c-myc activity by ?-catenin. Sequential ChIP analysis indicated ?-catenin and T-cell-specific 4 (TCF4) bound the endogenous c-myc promoter in the absence of Hic-5 expression. However, the formation of a TCF4/Hic-5 repressor complex inhibited c-myc promoter activity, by excluding ?-catenin binding with TCF4 on the promoter. The data indicate Hic-5/ARA55 expression in response to castration-enabled epithelial regression through the repression of c-myc gene at the chromatin level.
Project description:Currently, preclinical testing of therapies for hepatoblastoma (HB) is limited to subcutaneous and intrasplenic xenograft models that do not recapitulate the hepatic tumors seen in patients. We hypothesized that injection of HB cell lines into the livers of mice would result in liver tumors that resemble their clinical counterparts. HepG2 and Huh-6 HB cell lines were injected, and tumor growth was monitored with bioluminescence imaging (BLI) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Levels of human ?-fetoprotein (AFP) were monitored in the serum of animals. Immunohistochemical and gene expression analyses were also completed on xenograft tumor samples. BLI signal indicative of tumor growth was seen in 55% of HepG2- and Huh-6-injected animals after a period of four to seven weeks. Increased AFP levels correlated with tumor growth. MRI showed large intrahepatic tumors with active neovascularization. HepG2 and Huh-6 xenografts showed expression of ?-catenin, AFP, and Glypican-3 (GPC3). HepG2 samples displayed a consistent gene expression profile most similar to human HB tumors. Intrahepatic injection of HB cell lines leads to liver tumors in mice with growth patterns and biologic, histologic, and genetic features similar to human HB tumors. This orthotopic xenograft mouse model will enable clinically relevant testing of novel agents for HB.
Project description:METHODS::An orthotopic non-small cell lung cancer model in NMRI-nude mice was established to investigate the complementary information acquired from 80 kVp microcone-beam CT (micro-CBCT) and bioluminescence imaging (BLI) using different angles and filter settings. Different micro-CBCT-based radiation-delivery plans were evaluated based on their dose-volume histogram metrics of tumor and organs at risk to select the optimal treatment plan. RESULTS::H1299 cell suspensions injected directly into the lung render exponentially growing single tumor nodules whose CBCT-based volume quantification strongly correlated with BLI-integrated intensity. Parallel-opposed single angle beam plans through a single lung are preferred for smaller tumors, whereas for larger tumors, plans that spread the radiation dose across healthy tissues are favored. CONCLUSIONS::Closely mimicking a clinical setting for lung cancer with highly advanced preclinical radiation treatment planning is possible in mice developing orthotopic lung tumors. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE::BLI and CBCT imaging of orthotopic lung tumors provide complementary information in a temporal manner. The optimal radiotherapy plan is tumor volume-dependent.