PET Imaging in Head and Neck Cancer Patients to Monitor Treatment Response: A Future Role for EGFR-Targeted Imaging
SourceClinical Cancer Research, 21, 16, (2015), pp. 3602-9
Article / Letter to editor
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Clinical Cancer Research
SubjectRadboudumc 19: Nanomedicine RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Approximately 50,000 new cases of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are diagnosed worldwide each year and subsequently treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and/or targeted therapy. The heterogeneity of the patient population in terms of treatment response drives the search for tumor-specific biomarkers. Imaging of biomarkers can reveal patient-specific responses to therapies and, if assessed early after the start of treatment, may allow adaptation of treatment regimens. In this review, tracers that have been tested to monitor treatment efficacy in HNSCC by PET scanning prior to and early after the onset of treatment are discussed. An important imaging target for this application in HNSCC patients is the EGFR. It steers the pathways related to proliferation, hypoxia, DNA damage repair, and apoptosis, all treatment-resistance mechanisms. The anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab has been labeled with various radionuclides and has been tested as an imaging biomarker in several HNSCC models. These studies suggest that EGFR-targeting tracers can be used to monitor EGFR receptor expression in HNSCC and have the potential to noninvasively monitor cetuximab treatment and steer individualized treatment regimens. Multiple factors can influence the uptake of EGFR-targeting tracers. Here, we discuss the relevance of gene and protein overexpression, mutations, and amplifications related to EGFR signaling. In addition, monoclonal antibody properties and the effect on the host immune system are reviewed in light of the future role of EGFR-targeted imaging in HNSCC. Clin Cancer Res; 21(16); 3602-9. (c)2015 AACR.
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