Dependence of FDG uptake on tumor microenvironment

Andrei Pugachev, Shutian Ruan, Sean Carlin, Steven M. Larson, Jose Campa, C. Clifton Ling, John L. Humm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the factors affecting the 18F- fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake in tumors at a microscopic level, by correlating it with tumor hypoxia, cellular proliferation, and blood perfusion. Methods and Materials: Nude mice bearing Dunning prostate tumors (R3327-AT) were injected with 18F-FDG and pimonidazole, bromodeoxyuridine, and, 1 min before sacrifice, with Hoechst 33342. Selected tumor sections were imaged by phosphor plate autoradiography, while adjacent sections were used to obtain the images of the spatial distribution of Hoechst 33342, pimonidazole, and bromodeoxyuridine. The images were co-registered and analyzed on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Results: Statistical analysis of the data obtained from these tumors demonstrated that 18F-FDG uptake was positively correlated with pimonidazole staining intensity in each data set studied. Correlation of FDG uptake with bromodeoxyuridine staining intensity was always negative. In addition, FDG uptake was always negatively correlated with the staining intensity of Hoechst 33342. Conclusions: For the Dunning prostate tumors studied, FDG uptake was always positively correlated with hypoxia and negatively correlated with both cellular proliferation and blood flow. Therefore, for the tumor model studied, higher FDG uptake is indicative of tumor hypoxia, but neither blood flow nor cellular proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-553
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • FDG
  • Glucose metabolism
  • Hypoxia
  • PET tumor tracers
  • Tumor proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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