111In-bevacizumab imaging of renal cell cancer and evaluation of neoadjuvant treatment with the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor sorafenib

I. Desar, A. Stillebroer, E. Oosterwijk, W. Leenders, C. van Herpen, W. van der Graaf, O. Boerman, P. Mulders and W. Oyen

Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. i.desar@AIG.umcn.nl
Nov, 2010



Clear cell renal cell cancer (ccRCC) prominently expresses vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), and new treatment strategies for renal cell cancer (RCC) aim at the inhibition of VEGF-VEGF receptor signaling. This study explores the ability of (111)In-bevacizumab scintigraphy to depict RCC and to evaluate response to neoadjuvant treatment with sorafenib, a VEGF receptor inhibitor.The ability to depict RCC with (111)In-bevacizumab scintigraphy was tested in 14 patients scheduled to undergo a tumor nephrectomy; of these, 9 RCC patients were treated in a neoadjuvant setting with sorafenib (400 mg orally twice a day). In the latter group, baseline and posttreatment (111)In-bevacizumab scans were compared. The intratumoral distribution of (111)In-bevacizumab was determined scintigraphically ex vivo in a 1-cm lamella of the resected tumorous kidney. Expression of VEGF-A, glucose transporter-1, carbonic anhydrase IX, α-smooth-muscle actin, and Ki67 was determined by immunohistochemistry and compared with the local concentration of (111)In-bevacizumab. Additionally, the VEGF-A content in tumor samples was determined quantitatively by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.In all 5 non-neoadjuvant-treated patients, preferential accumulation of (111)In-bevacizumab was observed in the tumors. All ccRCC lesions with enhanced (111)In-bevacizumab targeting expressed high levels of VEGF-A. Treatment with sorafenib resulted in a significant decrease of (111)In-bevacizumab uptake in the tumor in the patients with ccRCC (mean change, -60.5\%; range, +1.5\% to -90.1\%). The decrease in uptake was due to destruction of the tumor neovasculature, whereas the VEGF-A expression remained intact. In the patient with papillary RCC, limited uptake without change after sorafenib was observed.RCC lesions were clearly delineated with (111)In-bevacizumab scintigraphy. Neoadjuvant treatment with sorafenib resulted in a significant decrease of (111)In-bevacizumab uptake in RCC. (111)In-bevacizumab scintigraphy can be an attractive biomarker for response and needs further study.