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Photoacoustic Tomography Detects Response and Resistance to Bevacizumab in Breast Cancer Mouse Models.

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UNLABELLED: Angiogenesis is an established prognostic factor in advanced breast cancer, yet response to antiangiogenic therapies in this disease remains highly variable. Noninvasive imaging biomarkers could help identify patients that will benefit from antiangiogenic therapy and provide an ideal tool for longitudinal monitoring, enabling dosing regimens to be altered with real-time feedback. Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging imaging modality that provides a direct readout of tumor hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation. We hypothesized that PAT could be used in the longitudinal setting to provide an early indication of response or resistance to antiangiogenic therapy. To test this hypothesis, PAT was performed over time in estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer xenograft mouse models undergoing treatment with the antiangiogenic bevacizumab as a single agent. The cohort of treated tumors, which were mostly resistant to the treatment, contained a subset that demonstrated a clear survival benefit. At endpoint, the PAT data from the responding subset showed significantly lower oxygenation and higher hemoglobin content compared with both resistant and control tumors. Longitudinal analysis revealed that tumor oxygenation diverged significantly in the responding subset, identifying early treatment response and the evolution of different vascular phenotypes between the subsets. Responding tumors were characterized by a more angiogenic phenotype when analyzed with IHC, displaying higher vessel density, yet poorer vascular maturity and elevated hypoxia. Taken together, our findings indicate that PAT shows promise in providing an early indication of response or resistance to antiangiogenic therapy. SIGNIFICANCE: Photoacoustic assessment of tumor oxygenation is a noninvasive early indicator of response to bevacizumab therapy, clearly distinguishing between control, responding, and resistant tumors within just a few weeks of treatment.



Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Animals, Bevacizumab, Breast Neoplasms, Female, Hemoglobins, Humans, Mice, Neovascularization, Pathologic, Receptors, Estrogen, Tomography

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Cancer Res

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American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Cancer Research Uk (None)
Cancer Research Uk (None)
Cancer Research UK (C14303/A17197)
Cancer Research UK (C14303/A17197)
National Physical Laboratory (NPL) (unknown)
National Physical Laboratory (NPL) (unknown)
National Physical Laboratory (NPL) (unknown)
This work was funded by Cancer Research UK (C14303/A17197 & C9545/A29580 - I Quiros-Gonzalez, M A Golinska, E Brown, L Ansel-Bollepalli, D-L Couturier, S E Bohndiek; C47594/A16267 – L Ansel-Bollepalli; C197/A16465 – M Tomaszewski). L Hacker was funded from NPL’s MedAccel programme financed by the Department for Businesses, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
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