DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3926-7Pages: 898-903

Imaging αvβ3 integrin expression in skeletal metastases with 99mTc-maraciclatide single-photon emission computed tomography: detection and therapy response assessment

1. King’s College London, Cancer Imaging Department, School of Biomedical Engineering and Imaging Sciences

2. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Trust, Nuclear Medicine Department

3. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals NHS Trust, Uro-oncology Department

4. The Grove Centre, GE Healthcare, Medical Diagnostics

Correspondence to:
Gary J. R. Cook
Tel: ++44 (0)207 188 8364




Osteoclast activity is an important factor in the pathogenesis of skeletal metastases and is a potential therapeutic target. This study aimed to determine if selective uptake of 99mTc-maraciclatide, a radiopharmaceutical targeting αvβ3 integrin, occurs in prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastases and to observe the changes following systemic therapy.


The study group comprised 17 men with bone-predominant metastatic PCa who underwent whole-body planar and single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging with 99mTc-maraciclatide before (n = 17) and 12 weeks after (n = 11) starting treatment with abiraterone. Tumour to normal bone (T:N) ratios, tumour to muscle (T:M) ratios and CT Hounsfield units (HU) were measured in up to five target metastases in each subject. An oncologist blinded to study scans assessed clinical responses up to 24 weeks using conventional criteria.


Before treatment, metastases showed specific 99mTc-maraciclatide accumulation (mean planar T:N and T:M ratios 1.43 and 3.06; SPECT T:N and T:M ratios 3.1 and 5.19, respectively). Baseline sclerotic lesions (389–740 HU) showed lower T:M ratios (4.22 vs. 7.04, p = 0.02) than less sclerotic/lytic lesions (46–381 HU). Patients with progressive disease (PD; n = 5) showed increased planar T:N and T:M ratios (0.29 and 12.1%, respectively) and SPECT T:N and T:M ratios (11.9 and 20.2%, respectively). Patients without progression showed decreased planar T:N and T:M ratios (0.27 and −8.0%, p = 1.0 and 0.044, respectively) and SPECT T:N and T:M ratios (−21.9, and −27.2%, p = 0.3 and 0.036, respectively). The percentage change in CT HU was inversely correlated with the percentage change in SPECT T:M ratios (r = −0.59, p = 0.006).


99mTc-maraciclatide accumulates in PCa bone metastases in keeping with increased αvβ3 integrin expression. Greater activity in metastases with lower CT density suggests that uptake is related to osteoclast activity. Changes in planar and SPECT T:M ratios after 12 weeks of treatment differed between patients with and without PD and 99mTc-maraciclatide imaging may be a potential method for assessing early response.

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  • Accepted: Dec 27, 2017
  • Online: Feb 2, 2018

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