Imaging multidrug resistance in hematological malignancies
Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
In hematological malignancies, multidrug resistance (MDR) has been associated with the drug efflux pumps: one is the classical Mr 170,000 P-glycoprotein (Pgp) and the other Mr 190,000 multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP). In addition, the over-expression of a recently identified protein, lung resistance protein (LRP), is also associated with reduced intracellular drug accumulation and retention. Currently available detection methods may provide variable results among laboratories, as there is no single set of standards for detection techniques at the mRNA or protein level. Moreover, these methods may not be informative about the in vivo function of Pgp, MRP or LRP. Single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) have been evaluated for the non-invasive determination of Pgp- and MRP-mediated transport systems. Tc-99m-hexaxis-2-methoxyisobutyl isonitrile (Tc-99m-Sestamibi), an agent used in myocardial perfusion and tumor imaging, is a substrate for Pgp and MRP, and has been used for tumor imaging, and to visualize Pgp expression. Tc-99m-Tetrofosmin and several Tc-99m-Q complexes, are also recognized as substrates by Pgp pump mechanism. Moreover, radiopharmaceuticals including carbon-11-labeled colchicine, verapamil and daunorubicin have been used for the assessment of Pgp-mediated transport functions in vivo using PET technology. The results suggest that the potential exists for nuclear medicine imaging using either Tc-99m-labeled compounds and SPECT or carbon-11-labeled compounds and PET to detect MDR in tumors prior to or after exposure to chemotherapeutic agents.