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2-Nitroimidazole (EF5) binding predicts radiation resistance in individual 9L s.c. tumors.

Evans SM. Jenkins WT. Joiner B. Lord EM. Koch CJ.
Cancer Research. 56(2):405-11, 1996 Jan 15.

The presence of hypoxic tumor cells is known to be an important cause of radiation treatment resistance in vivo. The ability to predict the presence and extent of hypoxic cells in individual tumors would allow the addition of specific "antihypoxia"-based treatment regimes. Hypoxia can be monitored by measuring the binding of 2-nitroimidazoles. We have tested the hypothesis that binding of EF5, a fluorinated derivative of the 2-nitroimidazole, Etanidazole, can predict radioresistance in individual tumors. Fischer rats bearing 9L s.c. tumors were given injections i.v. with EF5 3 h before irradiation and tumor harvest. Tumor cells were dissociated for flow cytometric analysis and plating efficiency studies. EF5 binding was detected via monoclonal antibodies conjugated to the orange emitting dye, Cy3. In air breathing rats, for a given radiation dose, a large amount of variation in plating efficiency was seen. However, there was minimal variability of the plating efficiency for tumors irradiated in euthanized animals (hypoxic tumors; correlation coefficient for the fitted curve = 0.93) and in cells dissociated from tumors and irradiated in suspension (correlation coefficient for the fitted curve = 0.99), suggesting that varying sensitivity to the cell disaggregation technique was not responsible. In contrast, a good correlation between the relative radiation resistance or hypoxic survival and EF5 binding of "moderately" hypoxic cells in air breathing rats was identified using these techniques. In these 9L s.c. tumors, intertumor variation in oxygenation accounted for most of the range in individual tumor radiation response, and this was found to be independent of tumor size. This study provides evidence for the application of EF5 binding with monoclonal antibody detection as an in vivo predictive assay of individual tumor hypoxia and resultant therapy resistance.

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