Nagavarakishore Pillarsetty

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York, United States

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Publications (26)132.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Adjuvants are materials added to vaccines to enhance the immunological response to an antigen. QS-21 is a natural product adjuvant under investigation in numerous vaccine clinical trials, but its use is constrained by scarcity, toxicity, instability and an enigmatic molecular mechanism of action. Herein we describe the development of a minimal QS-21 analogue that decouples adjuvant activity from toxicity and provides a powerful platform for mechanistic investigations. We found that the entire branched trisaccharide domain of QS-21 is dispensable for adjuvant activity and that the C4-aldehyde substituent, previously proposed to bind covalently to an unknown cellular target, is also not required. Biodistribution studies revealed that active adjuvants were retained preferentially at the injection site and the nearest draining lymph nodes compared with the attenuated variants. Overall, these studies have yielded critical insights into saponin structure-function relationships, provided practical synthetic access to non-toxic adjuvants, and established a platform for detailed mechanistic studies.
    Nature Chemistry 07/2014; 6(7):635-43. · 21.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The need for post-synthetic modifications and reactive prosthetic groups has long been a limiting factor in the synthesis and study of peptidic and peptidomimetic imaging agents. In this regard, the application of biologically and chemically orthogonal reactions to the design and development of novel radiotracers has the potential to have far-reaching implications in both the laboratory and the clinic. Herein, we report the synthesis and development of a series of modular and versatile building blocks for inverse electron-demand Diels-Alder copper-free click chemistry: tetrazine-functionalized artificial amino acids. Following the development of a novel peptide coupling protocol for peptide synthesis in the presence of tetrazines, we successfully demonstrated its effectiveness and applicability. This versatile methodology has the potential to have a transformational impact, opening the door for the rapid, facile, and modular synthesis of bioorthogonally reactive peptide probes.
    ChemistryOpen. 04/2014; 3(2):48-53.
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    ABSTRACT: Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common human sarcoma and a model of targeted molecular therapy. GIST depends on oncogenic KIT signaling and responds to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib. However, imatinib is rarely curative. We hypothesized that PLX3397, which inhibits KIT and CSF1R, would be more efficacious than imatinib in GIST by also depleting tumor-associated macrophages, which are generally thought to support tumor growth. We treated KitV558del/+ mice that develop GIST or mice with subcutaneous human GIST xenografts with imatinib or PLX3397 and analyzed tumor weight, cellular composition, histology, molecular signaling, and fibrosis. In vitro assays on human GIST cell lines were also performed. PLX3397 was more effective than imatinib in reducing tumor weight and cellularity in both KitV558del/+ murine GIST and human GIST xenografts. The superiority of PLX3397 did not depend on depletion of tumor-associated macrophages, since adding CSF1R inhibition did not improve the effects of imatinib. Instead, PLX3397 was a more potent KIT inhibitor than imatinib in vitro. PLX3397 therapy also induced substantial intratumoral fibrosis, which impaired the subsequent delivery of small molecules. PLX3397 therapy has greater efficacy than imatinib in pre-clinical GIST models and warrants study in GIST patients. The resultant intratumoral fibrosis may represent one of the barriers to achieving complete tumor eradication.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2014; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both (131)I- and (123)I-labeled meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) have been widely used in the clinic for targeted imaging of the norepinephrine transporter (NET). The human NET (hNET) gene has been imaged successfully with (124)I-MIBG positron emission tomography (PET) at time points of >24 h post-injection (p.i.). (18)F-labeled MIBG analogs may be ideal to image hNET expression at time points of <8 h p.i. We developed improved methods for the synthesis of known MIBG analogs, [(18)F]MFBG and [(18)F]PFBG and evaluated them in hNET reporter gene-transduced C6 rat glioma cells and xenografts. [(18)F]MFBG and [(18)F]PFBG were synthesized manually using a three-step synthetic scheme. Wild-type and hNET reporter gene-transduced C6 rat glioma cells and xenografts were used to comparatively evaluate the (18)F-labeled analogs with [(123)I]/[(124)I]MIBG. The fluorination efficacy on benzonitrile was predominantly determined by the position of the trimethylammonium group. The para-isomer afforded higher yields (75 ± 7 %) than meta-isomer (21 ± 5 %). The reaction of [(18)F]fluorobenzylamine with 1H-pyrazole-1-carboximidamide was more efficient than with 2-methyl-2-thiopseudourea. The overall radiochemical yields (decay-corrected) were 11 ± 2 % (n = 12) for [(18)F]MFBG and 41 ± 12 % (n = 5) for [(18)F]PFBG, respectively. The specific uptakes of [(18)F]MFBG and [(18)F]PFBG were similar in C6-hNET cells, but 4-fold less than that of [(123)I]/[(124)I]MIBG. However, in vivo [(18)F]MFBG accumulation in C6-hNET tumors was 1.6-fold higher than that of [(18)F]PFBG at 1 h p.i., whereas their uptakes were similar at 4 h. Despite [(18)F]MFBG having a 2.8-fold lower affinity to hNET and approximately 4-fold lower cell uptake in vitro compared to [(123)I]/[(124)I]MIBG, PET imaging demonstrated that [(18)F]MFBG was able to visualize C6-hNET xenografts better than [(124)I]MIBG. Biodistribution studies showed [(18)F]MFBG and (123)I-MIBG had a similar tumor accumulation, which was lower than that of no-carrier-added [(124)I]MIBG, but [(18)F]MFBG showed a significantly more rapid body clearance and lower uptake in most non-targeting organs. [(18)F]MFBG and [(18)F]PFBG were synthesized in reasonable radiochemical yields under milder conditions. [(18)F]MFBG is a better PET ligand to image hNET expression in vivo at 1-4 h p.i. than both [(18)F]PFBG and [(123)I]/[(124)I]MIBG.
    European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 10/2013; · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: The antilipolytic drug Acipimox reduces free fatty acid (FFA) levels in the blood stream. We examined the effect of reduced FFAs on glucose metabolism in androgen-dependent (CWR22Rv1) and androgen-independent (PC3) prostate cancer (PCa) xenografts. METHODS: Subcutaneous tumors were produced in nude mice by injection of PC3 and CWR22Rv1 PCa cells. The mice were divided into two groups (Acipimox vs. controls). Acipimox (50mg/kg) was administered by oral gavage 1h before injection of tracers. 1h after i.v. co-injection of 8.2MBq (222±6.0μCi) 18F-FDG and~0.0037MBq (0.1μCi) 14C-acetate, 18F-FDG imaging was performed using a small-animal PET scanner. Counting rates in reconstructed images were converted to activity concentrations. Quantification was obtained by region-of-interest analysis using dedicated software. The mice were euthanized, and blood samples and organs were harvested. 18F radioactivity was measured in a calibrated γ-counter using a dynamic counting window and decay correction. 14C radioactivity was determined by liquid scintillation counting using external standard quench corrections. Counts were converted into activity, and percentage of the injected dose per gram (%ID/g) tissue was calculated. RESULTS: FDG biodistribution data in mice with PC3 xenografts demonstrated doubled average %ID/g tumor tissue after administration of Acipimox compared to controls (7.21±1.93 vs. 3.59±1.35, P=0.02). Tumor-to-organ ratios were generally higher in mice treated with Acipimox. This was supported by PET imaging data, both semi-quantitatively (mean tumor FDG uptake) and visually (tumor-to-background ratios). In mice with CWR22Rv1 xenografts there was no effect of Acipimox on FDG uptake, either in biodistribution or PET imaging. 14C-acetate uptake was unaffected in PC3 and CWR22Rv1 xenografts. CONCLUSIONS: In mice with PC3 PCa xenografts, acute administration of Acipimox increases tumor uptake of 18F-FDG with general improvements in tumor-to-background ratios. Data indicate that administration of Acipimox prior to 18F-FDG PET scans has potential to improve sensitivity and specificity in patients with castration-resistant advanced PCa.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 02/2013; · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The study focuses on the interaction between glucose and free fatty acids (FFA) in malignant human prostate cancer cell lines by an in vitro observation of uptake of fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) and acetate. Methods Human prostate cancer cell lines (PC3, CWR22Rv1, LNCaP, and DU145) were incubated for 2 h and 24 h in glucose-containing (5.5 mM) Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium (DMEM) with varying concentrations of the free fatty acid palmitate (0–1.0 mM). Then the cells were incubated with [18 F]-FDG (1 μCi/mL; 0.037 MBq/mL) in DMEM either in presence or absence of glucose and in presence of varying concentrations of palmitate for 1 h. Standardized procedures regarding cell counting and measuring for 18 F radioactivity were applied. Cell uptake studies with 14C-1-acetate under the same conditions were performed on PC3 cells. Results In glucose containing media there was significantly increased FDG uptake after 24 h incubation in all cell lines, except DU145, when upper physiological levels of palmitate were added. A 4-fold increase of FDG uptake in PC3 cells (15.11% vs. 3.94%/106 cells) was observed in media with 1.0 mM palmitate compared to media with no palmitate. The same tendency was observed in PC3 and CWR22Rv1 cells after 2 h incubation. In glucose-free media no significant differences in FDG uptake after 24 h incubation were observed. The significant differences after 2 h incubation all pointed in the direction of increased FDG uptake when palmitate was added. Acetate uptake in PC3 cells was significantly lower when palmitate was added in glucose-free DMEM. No clear tendency when comparing FDG or acetate uptake in the same media at different time points of incubation was observed. Conclusions Our results indicate a FFA dependent metabolic boost/switch of glucose uptake in PCa, with patterns reflecting the true heterogeneity of the disease.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 01/2013; · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dasatinib, a new-generation Src and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) inhibitor, is currently under evaluation in high-grade glioma clinical trials. To achieve optimum physicochemical and/or biologic properties, alternative drug delivery vehicles may be needed. We used a novel fluorinated dasatinib derivative (F-SKI249380), in combination with nanocarrier vehicles and metabolic imaging tools (microPET) to evaluate drug delivery and uptake in a platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB)-driven genetically engineered mouse model (GEMM) of high-grade glioma. We assessed dasatinib survival benefit on the basis of measured tumor volumes. Using brain tumor cells derived from PDGFB-driven gliomas, dose-dependent uptake and time-dependent inhibitory effects of F-SKI249380 on biologic activity were investigated and compared with the parent drug. PDGFR receptor status and tumor-specific targeting were non-invasively evaluated in vivo using (18)F-SKI249380 and (18)F-SKI249380-containing micellar and liposomal nanoformulations. A statistically significant survival benefit was found using dasatinib (95 mg/kg) versus saline vehicle (P < .001) in tumor volume-matched GEMM pairs. Competitive binding and treatment assays revealed comparable biologic properties for F-SKI249380 and the parent drug. In vivo, Significantly higher tumor uptake was observed for (18)F-SKI249380-containing micelle formulations [4.9 percentage of the injected dose per gram tissue (%ID/g); P = .002] compared to control values (1.6%ID/g). Saturation studies using excess cold dasatinib showed marked reduction of tumor uptake values to levels in normal brain (1.5%ID/g), consistent with in vivo binding specificity. Using (18)F-SKI249380-containing micelles as radiotracers to estimate therapeutic dosing requirements, we calculated intratumoral drug concentrations (24-60 nM) that were comparable to in vitro 50% inhibitory concentration values. (18)F-SKI249380 is a PDGFR-selective tracer, which demonstrates improved delivery to PDGFB-driven high-grade gliomas and facilitates treatment planning when coupled with nanoformulations and quantitative PET imaging approaches.
    Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 12/2012; 14(12):1132-43. · 5.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Sindbis virus (SINV) infect tumor cells specifically and systemically throughout the body. Sindbis vectors are capable of expressing high levels of transduced suicide genes and thus efficiently produce enzymes for prodrug conversion in infected tumor cells. The ability to monitor suicide gene expression levels and viral load in patients, after administration of the vectors, would significantly enhance this tumor-specific therapeutic option. PROCEDURES: The tumor specificity of SINV is mediated by the 67-kDa laminin receptor (LR). We probed different cancer cell lines for their LR expression and, to determine the specific role of LR-expression in the infection cycle, used different molecular imaging strategies, such as bioluminescence, fluorescence molecular tomography, and positron emission tomography, to evaluate SINV-mediated infection in vitro and in vivo. RESULTS: All cancer cell lines showed a marked expression of LR. The infection rates of the SINV particles, however, differed significantly among the cell lines. CONCLUSION: We used novel molecular imaging techniques to visualize vector delivery to different neoplatic cells. SINV infection rates proofed to be not solely dependent on cellular LR expression. Further studies need to evaluate the herein discussed ways of cellular infection and viral replication.
    Molecular imaging and biology: MIB: the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging 07/2012; · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The expression of the herpes simplex virus type-1 thymidine kinase (HSV1-tk) gene can be imaged efficaciously using a variety of 2'-[(18)F]fluoro-2'-deoxy-1-b-D-arabinofuranosyl-uracil derivatives [[(18)F]-FXAU, X=I(iodo), E(ethyl), and M(methyl)]. However, the application of these derivatives in clinical and translational studies has been impeded by their complicated and long syntheses (3-5h). To remedy these issues, in the study at hand we have investigated whether microwave or combined catalysts could facilitate the coupling reaction between sugar and nucleobase and, further, have probed the feasibility of establishing a novel approach for [(18)F]-FXAU synthesis. We have demonstrated that the rate of the trimethylsilyl trifluoromethanesulfonate (TMSOTf)-catalyzed coupling reaction between the 2-deoxy-sugar and uracil derivatives at 90 °C can be significantly accelerated by microwave-driven heating or by the addition of Lewis acid catalyst (SnCl(4)). Further, we have observed that the stability of the α- and β-anomers of [(18)F]-FXAU derivatives differs during the hydrolysis step. Using the microwave-driven heating approach, overall decay-corrected radiochemical yields of 19%-27% were achieved for [(18)F]-FXAU in 120min at a specific activity of >22MBq/nmol (595Ci/mmol). Ultimately, we believe that these high yielding syntheses of [(18)F]-FIAU, [(18)F]-FMAU and [(18)F]-FEAU will facilitate routine production for clinical applications.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 07/2012; 39(8):1182-8. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Solid tumors often develop an acidic microenvironment, which plays a critical role in tumor progression and is associated with increased level of invasion and metastasis. The 37-residue pH (low) insertion peptide (pHLIP) is under study as an imaging platform because of its unique ability to insert into cell membranes at a low extracellular pH (pH(e) < 7). Labeling of peptides with [(18)F]-fluorine is usually performed via prosthetic groups using chemoselective coupling reactions. One of the most successful procedures involves the alkyne-azide copper(I) catalyzed cycloaddition (CuAAC). However, none of the known "click" methods have been applied to peptides as large as pHLIP. We designed a novel prosthetic group and extended the use of the CuAAC "click chemistry" for the simple and efficient (18)F-labeling of large peptides. For the evaluation of this labeling approach, a D-amino acid analogue of WT-pHLIP and an L-amino acid control peptide K-pHLIP, both functionalized at the N-terminus with 6-azidohexanoic acid, were used. The novel 6-[(18)F]fluoro-2-ethynylpyridine prosthetic group, was obtained via nucleophilic substitution on the corresponding bromo-precursor after 10 min at 130 °C with a radiochemical yield of 27.5 ± 6.6% (decay corrected) with high radiochemical purity ≥98%. The subsequent Cu(I)-catalyzed "click" reaction with the azido functionalized pHLIP peptides was quantitative within 5 min at 70 °C in a mixture of water and ethanol using Cu-acetate and sodium L-ascorbate. [(18)F]-D-WT-pHLIP and [(18)F]-L-K-pHLIP were obtained with total radiochemical yields of 5-20% after HPLC purification. The total reaction time was 85 min including formulation. In vitro stability tests revealed high stability of the [(18)F]-D-WT-pHLIP in human and mouse plasma after 120 min, with the parent tracer remaining intact at 65% and 85%, respectively. PET imaging and biodistribution studies in LNCaP and PC-3 xenografted mice with the [(18)F]-D-WT-pHLIP and the negative control [(18)F]-L-K-pHLIP revealed pH-dependent tumor retention. This reliable and efficient protocol promises to be useful for the (18)F-labeling of large peptides such as pHLIP and will accelerate the evaluation of numerous [(18)F]-pHLIP analogues as potential PET tracers.
    Bioconjugate Chemistry 07/2012; 23(8):1557-66. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most cancers are characterized by multiple molecular alterations, but identification of the key proteins involved in these signaling pathways is currently beyond reach. We show that the inhibitor PU-H71 preferentially targets tumor-enriched Hsp90 complexes and affinity captures Hsp90-dependent oncogenic client proteins. We have used PU-H71 affinity capture to design a proteomic approach that, when combined with bioinformatic pathway analysis, identifies dysregulated signaling networks and key oncoproteins in chronic myeloid leukemia. The identified interactome overlaps with the well-characterized altered proteome in this cancer, indicating that this method can provide global insights into the biology of individual tumors, including primary patient specimens. In addition, we show that this approach can be used to identify previously uncharacterized oncoproteins and mechanisms, potentially leading to new targeted therapies. We further show that the abundance of the PU-H71-enriched Hsp90 species, which is not dictated by Hsp90 expression alone, is predictive of the cell's sensitivity to Hsp90 inhibition.
    Nature Chemical Biology 09/2011; 7(11):818-26. · 12.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Given the significant utility of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) in chemotherapeutic protocols, a PET tracer that mimics the histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition of SAHA could be a valuable tool in the diagnosis, treatment planning and treatment monitoring of cancer. Here, we describe the synthesis, characterization and evaluation of N(1)-(4-(2-[(18)F]-fluoroethyl)phenyl)-N(8)-hydroxyoctanediamide ([(18)F]-FESAHA), a PET tracer designed for the delineation of HDAC expression in cancer. FESAHA was synthesized and biologically characterized in vivo and in vitro. [(18)F]-FESAHA was then synthesized in high radiochemical purity, and the logP and serum stability of the radiotracer were determined. In vitro cellular uptake experiments and acute biodistribution and small-animal PET studies were performed with [(18)F]-FESAHA in mice bearing LNCaP xenografts. [(18)F]-FESAHA was synthesized in high radiochemical purity via an innovative one-pot procedure. Enzymatic inhibition assays illustrated that FESAHA is a potent HDAC inhibitor, with IC(50) values from 3 nM to 1.7 μM against the 11 HDAC subtypes. Cell proliferation experiments revealed that the cytostatic properties of FESAHA very closely resemble those of SAHA in both LNCaP cells and PC-3 cells. Acute biodistribution and PET imaging experiments revealed tumor uptake of [(18)F]-FESAHA and substantially higher values in the small intestine, kidneys, liver and bone. The significant non-tumor background uptake of [(18)F]-FESAHA presents a substantial obstacle to the use of the radiotracer as an HDAC expression imaging agent. The study at hand, however, does present a number of lessons critical to both the synthesis of hydroxamic acid containing PET radiotracers and imaging agents aimed at delineating HDAC expression.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 07/2011; 38(5):683-96. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To obtain estimates of human normal-organ radiation doses of ¹⁸F-SKI-249380, as a prerequisite step towards first-in-human trial. ¹⁸F-SKI-249380 is a first-of-its-kind PET tracer for imaging the in vivo pharmacokinetics of dasatinib, an investigational targeted therapy for solid malignancies. Isoflurane-anesthetized mice received tracer dose via tail vein. Organ time-integrated activity coefficients, fractional urinary and hepatobiliary excretion, and total-body clearance kinetics were derived from PET data, with allometric extrapolation to the Standard Man anatomic model and normal-organ-absorbed dose calculations using OLINDA/EXM software. The human effective dose was 0.031 mSv/MBq. The critical organ was the upper large intestine, with a dose equivalent of 0.25 mSv/MBq. A 190-MBq administered activity of ¹⁸F-SKI-249380 is thus predicted to expose an adult human to radiation doses generally comparable to those of routinely used diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals. Animal-based human dose estimates support first-in-human testing of ¹⁸F-SKI-249380.
    Molecular imaging and biology: MIB: the official publication of the Academy of Molecular Imaging 12/2010; 14(1):25-31. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Positron emission tomography (PET) of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase-specific radiolabeled tracers could provide a means for non-invasively characterizing EGFR expression and signaling activity in patients' tumors before, during, and after therapy with EGFR inhibitors. Towards this goal, our group has developed PET tracers which irreversibly bind to EGFR. However, tumor uptake is relatively low because of both the lipophilicity of such tracers (e.g. the morpholino-[124I]-IPQA [SKI 212243]), with octanol-to-water partition coefficients of up to 4, and a short dwell time in the blood and significant hepatobiliary clearance and intestinal reuptake. Liposomal nanoparticle delivery systems may favorably alter the pharmacokinetic profile and improve tumor targeting of highly lipophilic but otherwise promising cancer imaging tracers, such as the EGFR inhibitor SKI 243. SKI 243 is therefore an interesting model molecule for incorporation into lipid-based nanoparticles, as it would not only improve their solubility but also increase the circulation time, availability and, potentially, targeting of tumors. In the current study, we compared the pharmacokinetics and tumor targeting of the bare EGFR kinase-targeting radiotracer SKI 212243 (SKI 243) with that of the same tracer embedded in liposomes. SKI 243 and liposomal SKI 243 are both taken up by tumor xenografts but liposomal SKI 243 remained in the blood longer and consequently exhibited a 3- to 6-fold increase in uptake in the tumor among several other organs.
    Journal of Controlled Release 10/2010; 149(3):292-8. · 7.63 Impact Factor
  • Harry Anderson, Nagavarakishore Pillarsetty, Melchor Cantorias, Jason S Lewis
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    ABSTRACT: An improved synthesis of 2'-[(18)F]-fluoro-2'-deoxy-1-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl-5-iodouracil ([(18)F]-FIAU) has been developed. The method utilizes trimethylsilyl trifluoromethanesulfonate (TMSOTf) catalyzed coupling of 2-deoxy-2-[(18)F]-fluoro-1,3,5-tri-O-benzoyl-d-arabinofuranose with 2,4-bis(trimethylsilyloxy)-5-iodouracil to yield the protected dibenzoyl-[(18)F]-FIAU. Dibenzoyl-[(18)F]-FIAU was deprotected with sodium methoxide to yield a mixture of alpha- and beta-anomers in a ratio of 1:1, which were purified by HPLC. The procedure described in this article eliminates the need for HBr activation of the sugar prior to coupling with silylated iodouracil and is suitable for automation. The total reaction time was about 110 min, starting from [(18)F]-fluoride. The average isolated yield of the required beta-anomer was 10+/-6% (decay corrected) with average specific activity of 125 mCi/micromol.
    Nuclear Medicine and Biology 05/2010; 37(4):439-42. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Because of the recent development of an iodopyridopyrimidinone Abl protein kinase inhibitor (PKI), (124)I-SKI-212230 ((124)I-SKI230), we investigated the feasibility of a PET-based molecular imaging method for the direct visualization of Abl kinase expression and PKI treatment. In vitro pharmacokinetic properties, including specific and nonspecific binding of (124)I-SKI230 to its Abl kinase target and interaction with other PKIs, were assessed in cell-free medium and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) cells overexpressing BCR-Abl (K562), in comparison with BT-474 cells that are low in Abl expression. In a xenograft tumor model, we assessed the in vivo pharmacokinetics of (124)I-SKI230 using PET and postmortem tissue sampling. We also tested a paradigm of (124)I-SKI230 PET after treatment of the animal with a dose of Abl-specific PKI for the monitoring of the tumor response. In vitro studies confirmed that SKI230 binds to Abl kinase with nanomolar affinity, that selective uptake occurs in cell lines known to express Abl kinase, that RNAi knock-down supports specificity of cellular uptake due to Abl kinase, and that imatinib, an archetype Abl PKI, completely displaces SKI230. With SKI230, we obtained successful in vivo PET of Abl-expressing human tumors in a nude rat. We were also able to demonstrate evidence of substrate inhibition of in vivo radiotracer uptake in the xenograft tumor after treatment of the animal as a model of PKI treatment monitoring. These results support the hypothesis that molecular imaging using PET will be useful for the study of in vivo pharmacodynamics of Abl PKI molecular therapy in humans.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 01/2010; 51(1):121-9. · 5.77 Impact Factor
  • Nagavarakishore Pillarsetty, Blesida Punzalan, Steven M Larson
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    ABSTRACT: There is a high interest in developing an (18)F-labeled PET tracer that can aid in diagnosis and therapy monitoring of prostate cancer. In the current study, we have evaluated the potential of 2-(18)F-fluoropropionic acid ((18)F-FPA) as a PET tracer for imaging prostate cancer. (18)F-FPA was synthesized starting from methyl-2-bromopropionate. Small-animal PET studies were performed on mice with CWR22rv1, PC-3, DU-145, and LNCaP prostate xenografts, and comparison of imaging characteristics of (18)F-FPA with (18)F-FDG uptake is reported. Biodistribution studies with (18)F-FPA were performed on mice with CWR22rv1 xenografts and compared with (14)C-acetate. (18)F-FPA was synthesized in 44% overall radiochemical yield (decay-corrected). Small-animal PET studies revealed that (18)F-FPA can delineate both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate xenografts with high tumor-to-background ratios. Comparative imaging studies demonstrate the superior performance of (18)F-FPA over (18)F-FDG for imaging prostate cancer, with excellent tumor-to-background contrast. Biodistribution studies show that tumor uptake of the tracer was 5.52 +/- 0.35, 5.53 +/- 0.42, 5.74 +/- 0.54, and 5.34 +/- 0.19 percentage injected dose (%ID) per gram at 1, 2, 3, and 4 h, respectively, after injection. The %ID/g values for (18)F-FPA and (14)C-acetate 1 h after tail vein injection were 7.08 +/- 0.80 and 0.36 +/- 0.08 in tumor, and the corresponding tumor-to-muscle ratios were 1.94 and 2.06, respectively. The data presented here indicate that (18)F-FPA accumulates in prostate cancers with high tumor-to-background ratios. (18)F-FPA has potential for use in the clinical diagnosis of prostate cancer in humans.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 09/2009; 50(10):1709-14. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The skeleton is a preferred site for breast cancer metastasis. We have developed a multimodality imaging approach to monitor the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) signaling pathway in bone metastases, sequentially over time in the same animal. As model systems, two MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells lines with different metastatic tropisms, SCP2 and SCP3, were transduced with constitutive and TGFbeta-inducible reporter genes and were tested in vitro and in living animals. The sites and expansion of metastases were visualized by bioluminescence imaging using a constitutive firefly luciferase reporter, while TGFbeta signaling in metastases was monitored by microPET imaging of HSV1-TK/GFP expression with [(18)F]FEAU and by a more sensitive and cost-effective bioluminescence reporter, based on nonsecreted Gaussia luciferase. Concurrent and sequential imaging of metastases in the same animals provided insight into the location and progression of metastases, and the timing and course of TGFbeta signaling. The anticipated and newly observed differences in the imaging of tumors from two related cell lines have demonstrated that TGFbeta signal transduction pathway activity can be noninvasively imaged with high sensitivity and reproducibility, thereby providing the opportunity for an assessment of novel treatments that target TGFbeta signaling.
    The FASEB Journal 04/2009; 23(8):2662-72. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Harry Anderson, Nagavarakishore Pillarsetty, Jason S Lewis
    Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals 01/2009; 52(S1):S499-S499. · 1.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Noninvasive imaging technologies have the potential to enhance the monitoring and improvement of adoptive therapy with tumor-targeted T lymphocytes. We established an imaging methodology for the assessment of spatial and temporal distributions of adoptively transferred genetically modified human T cells in vivo for treatment monitoring and prediction of tumor response in a systemic prostate cancer model. RM1 murine prostate carcinoma tumors transduced with human prostate-specific membrane antigen (hPSMA) and a Renilla luciferase reporter gene were established in SCID/beige mice. Human T lymphocytes were transduced with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) specific for either hPSMA or human carcinoembryonic antigen (hCEA) and with a fusion reporter gene for herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV1tk) and green fluorescent protein, with or without click beetle red luciferase. The localization of adoptively transferred T cells in tumor-bearing mice was monitored with 2'-(18)F-fluoro-2'-deoxy-1-beta-d-arabinofuranosyl-5-ethyluracil ((18)F-FEAU) small-animal PET and bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Cotransduction of CAR-expressing T cells with the reporter gene did not affect CAR-mediated cytotoxicity. BLI of Renilla and click beetle red luciferase expression enabled concurrent imaging of adoptively transferred T cells and systemic tumors in the same animal. hPSMA-specific T lymphocytes persisted longer than control hCEA-targeted T cells in lung hPSMA-positive tumors, as indicated by both PET and BLI. Precise quantification of T-cell distributions at tumor sites by PET revealed that delayed tumor progression was positively correlated with the levels of (18)F-FEAU accumulation in tumor foci in treated animals. Quantitative noninvasive monitoring of genetically engineered human T lymphocytes by PET provides spatial and temporal information on T-cell trafficking and persistence. PET may be useful for predicting tumor response and for guiding adoptive T-cell therapy.
    Journal of Nuclear Medicine 08/2008; 49(7):1162-70. · 5.77 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

224 Citations
132.66 Total Impact Points


  • 2005–2014
    • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
      • • Radiochemistry and Imaging Sciences Service
      • • Department of Radiology
      • • Division of Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry
      • • Department of Neurology
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2013
    • Herlev Hospital
      Herlev, Capital Region, Denmark