PET Imaging on Dynamic Metabolic Changes after Combination Therapy of Paclitaxel and the Traditional Chinese Medicine in Breast Cancer-Bearing Mice
The aim of the study was to non-invasively evaluate the anticancer activity of a traditional Chinese medicine—Huaier, combined with paclitaxel (PTX) in breast cancer bearing mice by detecting dynamic metabolic changes with positron emission tomography (PET).
Balb/c nude mice were randomly divided into one of the four groups: Huaier, PTX, PTX + Huaier, or the control. PET imaging with 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose ([18F]FDG) was performed to monitor the metabolic changes in BT474 (luminal B) and MDA-MB-231 (triple-negative) breast cancer xenografts. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) study was performed immediately after the final PET scan to assess the expressions of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), phospho-AKT (p-AKT), caspase-3, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
Compared to the control group, [18F]FDG accumulation demonstrated a significant decrease in PTX + Huaier (p < 0.01) or Huaier group (p < 0.05), which was consistent to the decreased expression of PI3K (p < 0.05) and p-AKT (p < 0.05) in the breast cancer xenografts.
The therapeutic effect of Huaier combined with PTX was superior than the PTX alone in BT474 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer-bearing mice. [18F]FDG PET imaging could be a potential non-invasive approach to assess the metabolic changes after chemotherapy combined with traditional Chinese medicine in the breast cancer.
Key wordsPositron emission tomography (PET) Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Paclitaxel Breast cancer
This research was supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2014CB744505). We also thank Dr. Weizhong Gu for his excellent technical assistance and valuable advice on IHC staining.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All animal studies were approved by the Zhejiang University Ethics Committee for Animal Experiments (Protocol No. ZJU201407-1-01-071).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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