MicroPET/CT imaging of an orthotopic model of human glioblastoma multiforme and evaluation of pulsed low-dose irradiation

Sean S. Park, John L. Chunta, John M. Robertson, Alvaro A. Martinez, Ching Yee Oliver Wong, Mitual Amin, George D. Wilson, Brian Marples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive tumor that typically causes death due to local progression. To assess a novel low-dose radiotherapy regimen for treating GBM, we developed an orthotopic murine model of human GBM and evaluated in vivo treatment efficacy using micro-positron- emission tomography/computed tomography (microPET/CT) tumor imaging. Methods: Orthotopic GBM xenografts were established in nude mice and treated with standard 2-Gy fractionation or 10 0.2-Gy pulses with 3-min interpulse intervals, for 7 consecutive days, for a total dose of 14 Gy. Tumor growth was quantified weekly using the Flex Triumph (GE Healthcare/Gamma Medica-Ideas, Waukesha, WI) combined PET-single-photon emission CT (SPECT)-CT imaging system and necropsy histopathology. Normal tissue damage was assessed by counting dead neural cells in tissue sections from irradiated fields. Results: Tumor engraftment efficiency for U87MG cells was 86%. Implanting 0.5 × 106 cells produced a 50- to 70-mm3 tumor in 10 to 14 days. A significant correlation was seen between CT-derived tumor volume and histopathology-measured volume (p = 0.018). The low-dose 0.2-Gy pulsed regimen produced a significantly longer tumor growth delay than standard 2-Gy fractionation (p = 0.045). Less normal neuronal cell death was observed after the pulsed delivery method (p = 0.004). Conclusion: This study successfully demonstrated the feasibility of in vivo brain tumor imaging and longitudinal assessment of tumor growth and treatment response with microPET/CT. Pulsed radiation treatment was more efficacious than the standard fractionated treatment and was associated with less normal tissue damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-892
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


  • Glioma
  • Hyper-radiosensitivity
  • Low dose
  • Orthotopic tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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