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Ex Vivo Activity Quantification in Micrometastases at the Cellular Scale Using the α-Camera Technique.

Journal article
Authors Nicolas Chouin
Sture Lindegren
Sofia Frost
Holger Jensen
Per Albertsson
Ragnar Hultborn
Stig Palm
Lars Jacobsson
Tom Bäck
Published in Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Volume 54
Issue 8
Pages 1347-1353
ISSN 1535-5667
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Pages 1347-1353
Language en
Subject categories Radiological physics


Targeted α-therapy (TAT) appears to be an ideal therapeutic technique for eliminating malignant circulating, minimal residual, or micrometastatic cells. These types of malignancies are typically infraclinical, complicating the evaluation of potential treatments. This study presents a method of ex vivo activity quantification with an α-camera device, allowing measurement of the activity taken up by tumor cells in biologic structures a few tens of microns. METHODS: We examined micrometastases from a murine model of ovarian carcinoma after injection of a radioimmunoconjugate labeled with (211)At for TAT. At different time points, biologic samples were excised and cryosectioned. The activity level and the number of tumor cells were determined by combined information from 2 adjacent sections: one exposed to the α-camera and the other stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The time-activity curves for tumor cell clusters, comprising fewer than 10 cells, were derived for 2 different injected activities (6 and 1 MBq). RESULTS: High uptake and good retention of the radioimmunoconjugate were observed at the surface of tumor cells. Dosimetric calculations based on the measured time-integrated activity indicated that for an injected activity of 1 MBq, isolated tumor cells received at least 12 Gy. In larger micrometastases (≤100 μm in diameter), the activity uptake per cell was lower, possibly because of hindered penetration of radiolabeled antibodies; however, the mean absorbed dose delivered to tumor cells was above 30 Gy, due to cross-fire irradiation. CONCLUSION: Using the α-camera, we developed a method of ex vivo activity quantification at the cellular scale, which was further applied to characterize the behavior of a radiolabeled antibody administered in vivo against ovarian carcinoma. This study demonstrated a reliable measurement of activity. This method of activity quantification, based on experimentally measured data, is expected to improve the relevance of small-scale dosimetry studies and thus to accelerate the optimization of TAT.

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