Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Medical Physics

First Advisor

Jamal Zweit


Platinum based chemotherapy is amongst the mainstream DNA-damaging agents used in clinical cancer therapy today. Agents such as cisplatin, carboplatin are clinically prescribed for the treatment of solid tumors either as single agents, in combination, or as part of multi-modality treatment strategy. Despite the potent anti-tumor activity of these drugs, overall effectiveness is still hampered by inadequate delivery and retention of drug in tumor and unwanted normal tissue toxicity, induced by non-selective accumulation of drug in normal cells and tissues. Utilizing molecular imaging and nanoparticle technologies, this thesis aims to contribute to better understanding of how to improve the profile of platinum based therapy. By developing a novel fluorinated derivative of carboplatin, incorporating a Flourine-18 (18F) moiety as an inherent part of the molecule, quantitative measures of drug concentration in tumors and normal tissues can be directly determined in vivo and within the intact individual environment. A potential impact of this knowledge will be helpful in predicting the overall response of individual patients to the treatment. Specifically, the aim of this project, therefore, is the development of a fluorinated carboplatin drug derivative with an inherent positron emission tomography (PET) imaging capability, so that the accumulation of the drug in the tumor and normal organs can be studied during the course of therapy . A secondary objective of this research is to develop a proof of concept for simultaneous imaging of a PET radiolabeled drug with a SPECT radiolabeled liposomal formulation, enabling thereby bi-modal imaging of drug and delivery vehicle in vivo. The approach is challenging because it involves development in PET radiochemistry, PET and SPECT imaging, drug liposomal encapsulation, and a dual-modal imaging of radiolabeled drug and radiolabeled vehicle. The principal development is the synthesis of fluorinated carboplatin 19F-FCP using 2-(5-fluoro-pentyl)-2-methyl malonic acid as the labeling agent to coordinate with the cisplatin aqua complex. It was then used to treat various cell lines and compared with cisplatin and carboplatin at different concentrations ranging from 0.001 µM to 100 µM for 72 hrs and 96 hrs. IC50 values calculated from cell viability indicated that 19F-FCP is a more potent drug than Carboplatin. Manual radiosynthesis and characterization of [18F]-FCP was performed using [18F]-2-(5-fluoro-pentyl)-2-methyl malonic acid with coordination with cisplatin aqua complex. Automated radiosynthesis of [18F]-FCP was optimized using the manual synthetic procedures and using them as macros for the radiosynthesizer. [18F]-FCP was evaluated in vivo with detailed biodistribution studies and PET imaging in normal and KB 3-1 and KB 8-5 tumor xenograft bearing nude mice. The biodistribution studies and PET imaging of [18F]-FCP showed major uptake in kidneys which attributes to the renal clearance of radiotracer. In vivo plasma and urine stability demonstrated intact [18F]-FCP. [111In]-Labeled Liposomes was synthesized and physiochemical properties were assessed with DLS. [111In]-Labeled Liposome was evaluated in vivo with detailed pharmacokinetic studies and SPECT imaging. The biodistribution and ROI analysis from SPECT imaging showed the spleen and liver uptake of [111In]-Labeled Liposome and subsequent clearance of activity with time. [18F]-FCP encapsulated [111In]-Labeled Liposome was developed and physiochemical properties were characterized with DLS. [18F]-FCP encapsulated [111In]-Labeled Liposome was used for in vivo dual tracer PET and SPECT imaging from the same nanoconstruct in KB 3-1 (sensitive) and COLO 205 (resistant) tumor xenograft bearing nude mice. PET imaging of [18F]-FCP in KB 3-1 (sensitive) and COLO 205 (resistant) tumor xenograft bearing nude mice was performed. Naked [18F]-FCP and [18F]-FCP encapsulated [111In]-Labeled Liposome showed different pharmacokinetic profiles. PET imaging of [18F]-FCP showed major uptake in kidneys and bladder. However, [18F]-FCP encapsulated [111In]-Labeled Liposome showed major uptake in RES in both PET and SPECT images. ROI analysis of SPECT image enabled by 111In corresponded with PET image enabled by 18F demonstrating the feasibility of dual tracer imaging from the single nanoconstruct. Future work involves the intensive in vitro characterization of [18F]-FCP encapsulated [111In]-Labeled Liposome and detailed in vivo evaluation of [18F]-FCP encapsulated [111In]-Labeled Liposome in various tumor models.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014