FDG-PET in the detection of early pancreatic cancer in a BOP hamster model

M. van Kouwen, P. Laverman, J. van Krieken, W. Oyen, J. Jansen and J. Drenth

Department of Gastroenterology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands.
Jul, 2005



The prognosis of pancreatic cancer (PC) is highly dependent on the stage of the disease, and early recognition improves survival. Positron emission tomography (PET) using (18)F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose ([(18)F]FDG) has been established as an important clinical tool for PC diagnosis, but it is not known whether FDG-PET detects premalignant stages of PC. We speculate that [(18)F]FDG uptake precedes the onset of PC in a hamster model. We used the N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine (BOP) model, as these animals consistently develop PC within 20 weeks after first injection.Male Syrian hamsters were injected once a week with 10 mg BOP/kg body weight for 10 consecutive weeks. Terminal autopsy took place in groups of five hamsters from 4 weeks until 28 weeks after first BOP injection. After an 8-h fast, hamsters were injected with [(18)F]FDG and sacrificed 1 h after [(18)F]FDG injection. The pancreata were histopathologically examined, and the [(18)F]FDG uptake was determined and expressed as percentage of the injected dose per gram tissue (\%ID/g).Seven of 55 hamsters developed macroscopic signs of tumor. Histopathological examination revealed PC in 13 hamsters. [(18)F]FDG uptake increased gradually with time and was significantly higher in the group with PC compared to the group without PC.[(18)F]FDG accumulates preferentially in PC, and pancreata exposed to BOP showed a gradual increase in [(18)F]FDG accumulation.