Monitoring response to anticancer therapy by targeting microbubbles to tumor vasculature

Grzegorz Korpanty, Juliet G. Carbon, Paul A. Grayburn, Jason B. Fleming, Rolf A. Brekken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


Purpose: New strategies to detect tumor angiogenesis and monitor response of tumor vasculature to therapy are needed. Contrast ultrasound imaging using microbubbles targeted to tumor endothelium offers a noninvasive method for monitoring and quantifying vascular effects of antitumor therapy. We investigated the use of targeted microbubbles to follow vascular response of therapy in a mouse model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Experimental Design: Microbubbles conjugated to monoclonal antibodies were used to image and quantify vascular effects of two different antitumor therapies in s.c. and orthotopic pancreatic tumors in mice. Tumor-bearing mice were treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) monoclonal antibodies and/or gemcitabine, and the localization of microbubbles to endoglin (CD105), VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2), or VEGF-activated blood vessels (the VEGF-VEGFR complex) was monitored by contrast ultrasound. Results: Targeted microbubbles showed significant enhancement of tumor vasculature when compared with untargeted or control IgG - targeted microbubbles. Video intensity from targeted microbubbles correlated with the level of expression of the target (CD105, VEGFR2, or the VEGF-VEGFR complex) and with microvessel density in tumors under antiangiogenic or cytotoxic therapy. Conclusions: We conclude that targeted microbubbles represent a novel and attractive tool for noninvasive, vascular-targeted molecular imaging of tumor angiogenesis and for monitoring vascular effects specific to antitumor therapy in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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