MRI-coupled Fluorescence Tomography Quantifies EGFR Activity in Brain Tumors

Scott C. Davis, Kimberley S. Samkoe, Julia A. O'Hara, Summer L. Gibbs-Strauss, Hannah L. Payne, P. Jack Hoopes, Keith D. Paulsen, Brian W. Pogue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: This report demonstrates the diagnostic potential of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-coupled fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) to determine epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) status in brain cancer. Materials and Methods: Two orthotopic glioma xenograft models were used in this study: one represented high EGFR expression and the other low expression. Nude mice were inoculated with cells from either one of the tumor lines or were used in a sham surgery control group. Animals were imaged using a unique MRI-FMT scanner 48 hours after intravenous injection of a near-infrared fluorophore bound to epidermal growth factor (EGF) ligand. Coronal images of fluorescence activity of the injected dye in the mouse brain were recovered using the MRI images as anatomical templates. Results: In vivo images of fluorescence activity showed significant differences between animal populations, an observation confirmed by receiver operating characteristic analysis that revealed 100% sensitivity and specificity between animal groups implanted with EGFR(+) and EGFR(-) tumor lines. Similar performance was observed between EGFR(+) and sham surgery control animals. Conclusions: This preclinical study suggests that MRI-FMT with fluorescent EGF provides excellent discrimination between tumors based on EGFR status. Reliable quantification of receptor status using minimally invasive techniques would be an important innovation for investigating new and existing cancer treatments that target these cellular mechanisms in research animals, and may be applied to identify receptor amplification in human brain cancer patients. This study represents the first systematic multianimal validation of receptor-specific imaging using MRI-guided fluorescence tomography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-276
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidermal growth factor receptor
  • MRI
  • fluorescence molecular tomography
  • glioma
  • multi-modal imaging
  • optical spectroscopy
  • tissue diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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