Towards personalized treatment planning of chemotherapy: [11C]docetaxel PET studies in lung cancer patients – Astrid van der Veldt

1Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging technique that may be useful for individualized treatment planning in cancer patients. For that purpose, radiolabeling anticancer drugs with positron emitters is promising, as these may then be used to monitor drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in patients non-invasively. In this thesis, validation and clinical implementation of a newly radiolabeled anticancer drug, carbon-11 labeled docetaxel ([11C]docetaxel), in patients with lung cancer were presented. 
Human PET studies showed that [11C]docetaxel may be a useful tracer for tumors located in the thoracic region, including breast cancer and lung cancer. Subsequently, quantitative PET data showed irreversible kinetics of [11C]docetaxel in lung tumors. In addition, PET scans using [11C]docetaxel demonstrated that less than 1% of the therapeutic dose of docetaxel accumulated in lung tumors and that [11C]docetaxel delivery to tumors was significantly decreased by prior administration of the anti-angiogenic drug bevacizumab. The [11C]docetaxel PET studies presented in this thesis provide a framework for clinical validation of the PET microdosing concept of other radiolabeled anticancer drugs as well as for investigating effects of anti-angiogenic drugs on drug delivery to tumors in vivo.


“In January 2011, I started my specialization in Internal Medicine at the Department of Internal Medicine of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. Finally, I will further specialize in Medical Oncology. In the future, I hope to combine patient care with scientific research in molecular imaging.”

Astrid van der Veldt on her future carreer plans

fulltext of thesis