Juergen K. Willmann, M.D.

Publication Details

  • Fast microbubble dwell-time based ultrasonic molecular imaging approach for quantification and monitoring of angiogenesis in cancer. Quantitative imaging in medicine and surgery Pysz, M. A., Guracar, I., Tian, L., Willmann, J. K. 2012; 2 (2): 68-80


    PURPOSE: To develop and test a fast ultrasonic molecular imaging technique for quantification and monitoring of angiogenesis in cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A new software algorithm measuring the dwell time of contrast microbubbles in near real-time (henceforth, fast method) was developed and integrated in a clinical ultrasound system. In vivo quantification and monitoring of tumor angiogenesis during anti-VEGF antibody therapy was performed in human colon cancer xenografts in mice (n=20) using the new fast method following administration of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2)-targeted contrast microbubbles. Imaging results were compared with a traditional destruction/replenishment approach (henceforth, traditional method) in an intra-animal comparison. RESULTS: There was excellent correlation (R(2)=0.93; P<0.001) between the fast method and the traditional method in terms of VEGFR2-targeted in vivo ultrasonic molecular imaging with significantly higher (P=0.002) imaging signal in colon cancer xenografts using VEGFR2-targeted compared to control non-targeted contrast microbubbles. The new fast method was highly reproducible (ICC=0.87). Following anti-angiogenic therapy, ultrasonic molecular imaging signal decreased by an average of 41±10%, whereas imaging signal increased by an average of 54±8% in non-treated tumors over a 72-hour period. Decreased VEGFR2 expression levels following anti-VEGF therapy were confirmed on ex vivo immunofluorescent staining. CONCLUSIONS: Fast ultrasonic molecular imaging based on dwell time microbubble signal measurements correlates well with the traditional measurement method, and allows reliable in vivo monitoring of anti-angiogenic therapy in human colon cancer xenografts. The improved work-flow afforded by the new quantification approach may facilitate clinical translation of ultrasonic molecular imaging.

    View details for PubMedID 22943043

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