Imperial College London

ProfessorEricAboagye

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Surgery & Cancer

Professor
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 3313 3759eric.aboagye

 
 
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Assistant

 

Mrs Maureen Francis +44 (0)20 7594 2793

 
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Location

 

GN1Commonwealth BuildingHammersmith Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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329 results found

Allott L, Barnes C, Brickute D, Leung SFJ, Aboagye EOet al., 2019, Solid-supported cyanoborohydride cartridges for automation of reductive amination radiochemistry, REACTION CHEMISTRY & ENGINEERING, Vol: 4, Pages: 1748-1751, ISSN: 2058-9883

Journal article

Sharma R, Wang WM, Yusuf S, Evans J, Ramaswami R, Wernig F, Frilling A, Mauri F, Al-Nahhas A, Aboagye EO, Barwick TDet al., 2019, 68Ga-DOTATATE PET/CT parameters predict response to peptide receptor radionuclide therapy in neuroendocrine tumours, Radiotherapy and Oncology, ISSN: 0167-8140

PURPOSE: [177Lu]DOTATATE prolongs progression free survival (PFS) in metastatic neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). However, objective response rate is low. This, coupled with long duration of therapy and expense suggest need for better selection. We aim to assess whether baseline [68Ga]DOTATATE-PET/CT parameters, and whether response assessment by PET accurately predicts clinical outcome to [177Lu]DOTATATE. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Retrospective study of patients receiving [177Lu]DOTATATE was conducted. Patients were followed 3-monthly until disease progression. Four [68Ga]DOTATATE-PET parameters (single lesion SUVmax, tumour to spleen and liver SUV ratios, and SUVmax-av using up to five target lesions in multiple organ sites) were determined at baseline and follow-up. The association between these PET parameters either at baseline, or any changes following treatment, and PET response criteria (PERCIST and modified PERCIST) to predict PFS were determined. Patients were followed 3-monthly until disease progression. Response was determined using RECIST 1.1. Baseline SSTR2 expression was assessed and compared with PET parameters. RESULTS: 55 patients with metastatic NETs were identified predominantly small bowel (N = 18) and pancreatic (N = 8) in origin. 16 were low grade, 15 intermediate and 3 high grade. Response to PRRT (N = 47): partial response (PR) 28%, stable disease (SD) 60% progressive disease (PD) 13%. Response to PRRT predicted PFS: PR 71.8 months (95%CI: not achieved), SD 29.1 months (95%CI: 15.2-43.1), and PD 9.7 months (95%CI: 0-21.02). Baseline, single lesion SUVmax predicted both response and PFS with SUV cut-off of 13.0 giving high sensitivity and specificity. Tumoural SUVmax correlated with SSTR2 expression, Spearman's rho - 0.69, p < 0.01. CONCLUSIONS: Baseline single lesion SUVmax and SUVmax-av predicts response to [177Lu]DOTATATE. Objective response following PRRT defines a subset of patients with markedly improved PFSBaseline SUVmax 13.0 defines a thre

Journal article

Trousil S, Lee P, Edwards RJ, Maslen L, Lozan-Kuehne JP, Ramaswami R, Aboagye EO, Clarke S, Liddle C, Sharma Ret al., 2019, Altered cytochrome 2E1 and 3A P450-dependent drug metabolism in advanced ovarian cancer correlates to tumour-associated inflammation, British Journal of Pharmacology, Vol: 176, Pages: 3712-3722, ISSN: 0007-1188

Background and PurposePrevious work has focussed on changes in drug metabolism caused by altered activity of CYP3A in the presence of inflammation and, in particular, inflammation associated with malignancy. However, drug metabolism involves a number of other P450s, and therefore, we assessed the effect of cancer‐related inflammation on multiple CYP enzymes using a validated drug cocktail.Experimental ApproachPatients with advanced stage ovarian cancer and healthy volunteers were recruited. Participants received caffeine, chlorzoxazone, dextromethorphan, and omeprazole as in vivo probes for CYP1A2, CYP2E1, CYP2D6, CYP3A, and CYP2C19. Blood was collected for serum C‐reactive protein and cytokine analysis.Key ResultsCYP2E1 activity was markedly up‐regulated in cancer (6‐hydroxychlorzoxazone/chlorzoxazone ratio of 1.30 vs. 2.75), while CYP3A phenotypic activity was repressed in cancer (omeprazole sulfone/omeprazole ratio of 0.23 vs. 0.49). Increased activity of CYP2E1 was associated with raised serum levels of IL‐6, IL‐8, and TNF‐α. Repression of CYP3A correlated with raised levels of serum C‐reactive protein, IL‐6, IL‐8, and TNF‐α.Conclusions and ImplicationsCYP enzyme activity is differentially affected by the presence of tumour‐associated inflammation, affecting particularly CYP2E1‐ and CYP3A‐mediated drug metabolism, and may have profound implications for drug development and prescribing in oncological settings.

Journal article

Inglese M, Katherine L O, Lesley H, Tara D B, Eric O A, Adam D W, Matthew G-Set al., Reliability of dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging data in primary brain tumours: a comparison of Tofts and Shutter Speed Models, Neuroradiology, ISSN: 0028-3940

PurposeTo investigate the robustness of pharmacokinetic modelling of DCE-MRI brain tumourdata and to ascertain reliable perfusion parameters through a model selection processand a stability test.MethodsDCE-MRI data of 14 patients with primary brain tumours were analysed using the Toftsmodel (TM), the extended Tofts model (ETM), the shutter speed model (SSM) and theextended shutter speed model (ESSM). A no-effect model (NEM) was implemented toassess overfitting of data by the other models.For each lesion, the Akaike Information Criteria (AIC) was used to build a 3D modelselection map. The variability of each pharmacokinetic parameter extracted from thismap was assessed with a noise propagation procedure, resulting in voxel-wisedistributions of the coefficient of variation (CV).ResultsThe model selection map over all patients showed NEM had the best fit in 35.5% ofvoxels, followed by ETM (32%), TM (28.2%), SSM (4.3%) and ESSM (<0.1%). Inanalysing the reliability of Ktrans, when considering regions with a CV<20%, ≈25% ofvoxels were found to be stable across all patients. The remaining 75% of voxels wereconsidered unreliable.ConclusionsThe majority of studies quantifying DCE-MRI data in brain tumours only consider asingle model and whole-tumour statistics for the output parameters. Appropriate modelselection, considering tissue biology and its effects on blood brain barrier permeabilityand exchange conditions, together with an analysis on the reliability and stability of thecalculated parameters, is critical in processing robust brain tumour DCE-MRI data.

Journal article

Brickute D, Kaliszczak M, Barnes C, Lau D, Carroll L, Stevens E, Trousil S, Alam I, Nguyen QD, Aboagye Eet al., 2019, Development and evaluation of an 18F-radiolabeled monocyclam derivative for imaging CXCR4 expression, Molecular Pharmaceutics, Vol: 16, Pages: 2106-2117, ISSN: 1543-8384

In humans, C–X–C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) is a protein that is encoded by the CXCR4 gene and binds the ligand CXCL12 (also known as SDF-1). The CXCR4–CXCL12 interaction in cancer elicits biological activities that result in tumor progression and has accordingly been the subject of significant investigation for detection and treatment of the disease. Peptidic antagonists have been labeled with a variety of radioisotopes for the detection of CXCR4, but the methodology utilizing small molecules has predominantly used radiometals. We report here the development of a 18F-radiolabeled cyclam-based small molecule radioprobe, [18F]MCFB, for imaging CXCR4 expression. The IC50 value of [19F]MCFB for CXCR4 was similar to that of AMD3465 (111.3 and 89.8 nM, respectively). In vitro binding assays show that the tracer depicted a differential CXCR4 expression, which was blocked in the presence of AMD3465, demonstrating the specificity of [18F]MCFB. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging studies showed a distinct uptake of the radioprobe in lymphoma and breast cancer xenografts. High liver and kidney uptakes were seen with [18F]MCFB, leading us to further examine the basis of its pharmacokinetics in relation to the tracer’s cationic nature and thus the role of organic cation transporters (OCTs). Substrate competition following the intravenous injection of metformin led to a marked decrease in the urinary excretion of [18F]MCFB, with moderate changes observed in other organs, including the liver. Our results suggest involvement of OCTs in the renal elimination of the tracer. In conclusion, the 18F-radiolabeled monocyclam, [18F]MCFB, has potential to detect tumor CXCR4 in nonhepatic tissues.

Journal article

Hernandez-Gil J, Braga M, Harriss B, Carroll LS, Leow CH, Tang M-X, Aboagye EO, Long NJet al., 2019, Development of Ga-68-labelled ultrasound microbubbles for whole-body PET imaging, Chemical Science, Vol: 10, Pages: 5603-5615, ISSN: 2041-6520

Microbubble (MB) contrast agents have revolutionalised the way ultrasound (US) imaging can be used clinically and pre-clinically. Contrast-enhanced US offers improvements in soft-tissue contrast, as well as the ability to visualise disease processes at the molecular level. However, its inability to provide in vivo whole-body imaging can hamper the development of new MB formulations. Herein, we describe a fast and efficient method for achieving 68Ga-labelling of MBs after a direct comparison of two different strategies. The optimised approach produces 68Ga-labelled MBs in good yields through the bioorthogonal inverse-electron-demand Diel–Alder reaction between a trans-cyclooctene-modified phospholipid and a new tetrazine-bearing HBED-CC chelator. The ability to noninvasively study the whole-body distribution of 68Ga-labelled MBs was demonstrated in vivo using positron emission tomography (PET). This method could be broadly applicable to other phospholipid-based formulations, providing accessible solutions for in vivo tracking of MBs.

Journal article

Lavdas I, Glocker B, Rueckert D, Taylor SA, Aboagye EO, Rockall AGet al., 2019, Machine learning in whole-body MRI: experiences and challenges from an applied study using multicentre data, CLINICAL RADIOLOGY, Vol: 74, Pages: 346-356, ISSN: 0009-9260

Journal article

Ferris T, Carroll L, Mease RC, Spivey AC, Aboagye EOet al., 2019, Iodination of terminal alkynes using KI/CuSO4 – A facile method with potential for radio-iodination, Tetrahedron Letters, Vol: 60, Pages: 936-939, ISSN: 0040-4039

Herein, we report an efficient new method for the iodination of terminal alkynes using stoichiometric KI and CuSO4 in a mix of acetonitrile and acetate buffer that holds promise for further development into a method for radio-iodination.

Journal article

Pinato D, Brown MW, Trousil S, Aboagye E, Beaumont J, Zhang H, Coley HM, Mauri F, Sharma Ret al., 2019, Integrated analysis of multiple receptor tyrosine kinases identifies Axl as a therapeutic target and mediator of resistance to sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma., British Journal of Cancer, Vol: 120, Pages: 512-521, ISSN: 0007-0920

Background: Aberrant activation of Axl is implicated in the progression of HCC. We explored biologic significance and preclinical efficacy of Axl inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in sorafenib-naïve and resistant HCC.Methods: We evaluated Axl expression in sorafenib-naïve and resistant (SR) clones of epithelial (HuH7) and mesenchymal origin (SKHep-1) using antibody arrays and confirmed tissue expression. We tested the effect of Axl inhibition with RNA-interference and pharmacologically with R428 on a number of phenotypic assays. Results: Axl mRNA overexpression in cell lines (n=28) and RNA-seq tissue datasets (n=373) correlated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Axl was overexpressed in HCC compared to cirrhosis and normal liver. We confirmed sorafenib-resistance to be associated with EMT and enhanced motility in both HuH7-SR and SKHep-1-SR cells documenting a 4-fold increase in Axl phosphorylation as an adaptive feature of chronic sorafenib treatment in SKHep-1-SR cells. Axl inhibition reduced motility and enhanced sensitivity to sorafenib in SKHep-1SR cells. In patients treated with sorafenib (n=40) circulating Axl levels correlated with shorter survival.Conclusions: Suppression of Axl-dependent signaling influences the transformed phenotype in HCC cells and contributes to adaptive resistance to sorafenib, providing a pre-clinical rationale for the development of Axl inhibitors as a measure to overcome sorafenib resistance.

Journal article

Allott L, Barnes C, Brickute D, Aboagye EOet al., 2019, An improved automated radiosynthesis of [F-18]FET-beta AG-TOCA, Reaction Chemistry and Engineering, Vol: 4, Pages: 569-574, ISSN: 2058-9883

The fluorine-18 radiolabelled octreotide derivative [18F]FET-βAG-TOCA targeting somatostatin receptor type 2, has been evaluated clinically for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). We report an improved automated radiosynthesis of [18F]FET-βAG-TOCA with several advantages over the current automated GMP synthesis: 1) cartridge-based purification of 2-[18F]fluoroethylazide ([18F]FEA); 2) simple set-up for the radiolabelling on a single cassette; 3) HPLC purification using a biocompatible mobile phase. [18F]FET-βAG-TOCA was produced with a radiochemical yield of 16.7 ± 0.6% (non-decay corrected) and radiochemical purity ≥98%. The automated synthesis produced multi-patient doses (900 MBq) that were radiochemically stable (≥98%) over 4 hours. In addition, the automated procedure described can be used, with minimal adaptation, to radiolabel any alkyne-containing peptide with [18F]FEA using the GE FASTlab™ platform.

Journal article

Leow CH, Bush N, Stanziola A, Braga M, Shah A, Hernández-Gil J, Long NJ, Aboagye E, Bamber J, Tang Met al., 3D microvascular imaging using high frame rate ultrasound and ASAP without contrast agents: development and initial in vivo evaluation on non-tumour and tumour models, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, ISSN: 0885-3010

Three-dimensional imaging is valuable to non-invasively assess angiogenesis given the complex 3D architecture of vascular networks. The emergence of high frame rate (HFR) ultrasound, which can produce thousands of images per second, has inspired novel signal processing techniques and their applications in structural and functionalimaging of blood vessels. Although highly sensitive vascular mapping has been demonstrated using ultrafast Doppler, the detectability of microvasculature from the background noise may be hindered by the low signal to noise ratio (SNR) particularly in deeper region and without the use of contrast agents. We have recently demonstrated a coherence based technique, acoustic sub-aperture imaging (ASAP), for super-contrast vascular imaging and illustrated the contrast improvement using HFR contrast-enhanced ultrasound. In this work, we provide a feasibility study for microvascular imaging using ASAP without contrast agents, and extend its capability from 2D to volumetric vascular mapping. Using an ultrasound research system and a pre-clinical probe, we demonstrated the improved visibility of microvascular mapping using ASAP in comparison to ultrafast Power Doppler (PD) on a mouse kidney, liver and tumour without contrast agent injection. The SNR of ASAP images improves in average by 10dB when compared to PD. Besides, directional velocity mappings were also demonstrated by combining ASAP with the phase information extracted from lag-1 autocorrelation. Three-dimensional vascular and velocity mapping of the mouse kidney, liver and tumour were demonstrated by stackingthe ASAP images acquired using 2D ultrasound imaging and a trigger-controlled linear translation stage. The 3D results depicted clear micro-vasculature morphologies and function

Journal article

Przystal J, Waramit S, Pranjol MZI, Yan W, Chu G, Chongchai A, Samarth G, Olaciregui N, Tabatabai G, Carcaboso A, Aboagye E, Suwan K, Hajitou Aet al., 2019, Efficacy of systemic temozolomide-activated phage-targeted gene therapy in human glioblastoma, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Vol: 11, ISSN: 1757-4676

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most lethal primary intracranial malignant neoplasm in adults and most resistant to treatment. Integration of gene therapy and chemotherapy, chemovirotherapy, has the potential to improve treatment. We have introduced an intravenous bacteriophage (phage) vector for dual targeting of therapeutic genes to glioblastoma. It is a hybrid AAV/phage, AAVP, designed to deliver a recombinant adeno‐associated virus genome (rAAV) by the capsid of M13 phage. In this vector, dual tumor targeting is first achieved by phage capsid display of the RGD4C ligand that binds the αvβ3 integrin receptor. Second, genes are expressed from a tumor‐activated and temozolomide (TMZ)‐induced promoter of the glucose‐regulated protein, Grp78. Here, we investigated systemic combination therapy using TMZ and targeted suicide gene therapy by the RGD4C/AAVP‐Grp78. Firstly, in vitro we showed that TMZ increases endogenous Grp78 gene expression and boosts transgene expression from the RGD4C/AAVP‐Grp78 in human GBM cells. Next, RGD4C/AAVP‐Grp78 targets intracranial tumors in mice following intravenous administration. Finally, combination of TMZ and RGD4C/AAVP‐Grp78 targeted gene therapy exerts a synergistic effect to suppress growth of orthotopic glioblastoma.

Journal article

Leow CH, Braga M, Bush NL, Stanziola A, Shah A, Hernández-Gil J, Long NJ, Aboagye EO, Bamber JC, Tang MXet al., 2019, Contrast vs non-contrast enhanced microvascular imaging using acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP): in vivo demonstration, IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS. 2018, Publisher: IEEE, ISSN: 1948-5719

Angiogenesis plays a vital role in the progression of cancer. Non-invasive imaging techniques capable of assessing the microenvironment are therefore of clinical interest. Although highly sensitive vascular mapping has been demonstrated using ultrafast Power Doppler (PD), the detectability of microvasculature from the background noise may be hindered by the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in deeper region and without the use of contrast agents. We recently developed acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP) processing for super-contrast vasculature imaging. This technique relies on the spatial coherence of the backscattered echoes over different acquisitions to substantially reduce the noise floor compared to the power Doppler (PD) technique. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of applying ASAP processing for non-contrast enhanced microvascular imaging in preclinical condition, and compare it with contrast enhanced ASAP as well as ultrafast PD. Comparing to PD, ASAP exhibit SNR improvement up to 12 dB. Higher SNR and extra visibility of smaller vessel are also demonstrated in contrast enhanced images in comparison to the non-contrast images. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the feasibility of using ASAP in vivo for non-contrast microvascular imaging, and the added benefit of using contrast agents in microvascular imaging.

Conference paper

Hau Leow C, Bush NL, Stanziola A, Braga M, Shah A, Hemández-Gil J, Long NJ, Aboagye EO, Bamber JC, Tang MXet al., 2019, High-contrast 3D in vivo microvascular imaging using scanning 2D ultrasound and acoutic sub-aperture processing (ASAP), IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS. 2018, Publisher: IEEE, ISSN: 1948-5719

Non-invasive techniques for microvascular environment assessment are invaluable for clinical diagnosis and treatment monitoring. We recently developed a super contrast processing to suppress noise background in ultrafast Power Doppler, known an acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP), and demonstrate using 2D contrast enhance ultrasound. However, 2D imaging is insufficient to represent the 3D complex vascular environment. We therefore extend our study to demonstrate the feasibility of our technique for volumetric imaging. A pseudo-3D imaging technique was developed and demonstrated using a research system and preclinical transducer. A mouse liver was scanned using 2D ultrafast ultrasound and a mechanical translation stage. Initial results not only demonstrated a substantial noise reduction in 2D vascular images using ASAP, but also a high contrast volumetric rendering of a mouse liver. Our technique is ready for clinical use to provide better evaluation of angiogenesis.

Conference paper

Vassileva V, Stribbling S, Barnes C, Carroll L, Braga V, Abrahams J, Heinzmann K, Haegeman C, MacFarlane M, Simpson K, Dive C, Honeychurch J, Illidge T, Aboagye Eet al., 2019, Evaluation of apoptosis imaging biomarkers in a genetic model of cell death, EJNMMI Research, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2191-219X

PurposeWe have previously developed the caspase-based radiotracer, 18F-ICMT-11, for PET imaging to monitor treatment response. We further validated 18F-ICMT-11 specificity in a murine melanoma death-switch tumour model with conditional activation of caspase-3 induced by doxycycline.MethodsCaspase-3/7 activity and cellular uptake of 18F-ICMT-11, 18F-ML-10 and 18F-FDG were assessed in B16ova and B16ovaRevC3 cells after death-switch induction.Death-switch induction was confirmed in vivo in xenograft tumours, and 18F-ICMT-11 and 18F-ML-10 biodistribution was assessed by ex vivo gamma counting of select tissues. PET imaging was performed with 18F-ICMT-11, 18F-ML-10 and 18F-FDG. Caspase-3 activation was confirmed by immunohistochemistry.ResultsSignificantly increased caspase-3/7 activity was observed only in B16ovaRevC3 cells after death-switch induction, accompanied by significantly increased 18F-ICMT-11 (p < 0.001) and 18F-ML-10 (p < 0.05) and decreased 18F-FDG (p < 0.001) uptake compared with controls.B16ova and B16ovaRevC3 tumours had similar growth in vivo; however, B16ovaRevC3 growth was significantly reduced with death-switch induction (p < 0.01). Biodistribution studies showed significantly increased 18F-ICMT-11 tumour uptake following death-switch induction (p < 0.01), but not for 18F-ML-10. Tumour uptake of 18F-ICMT-11 was higher than that of 18F-ML-10 after death-switch induction. PET imaging studies showed that 18F-ICMT-11 can be used to detect apoptosis after death-switch induction, which was accompanied by significantly increased expression of cleaved caspase-3. 18F-FDG signal decreased in tumours after death-switch induction.ConclusionsWe demonstrate that 18F-ICMT-11 can be used to detect caspase-3 activation in a death-switch tumour model, independent of the confounding effects of cancer therapeutics, thus confirming its specificity and supporting the development of this r

Journal article

Lu H, Arshad M, Thornton A, Avesani G, Cunnea P, Curry E, Kanavati F, Nixon K, Williams ST, Ali Hassan M, Bowtell DDL, Gabra H, Fotopoulou C, Rockall A, Aboagye Eet al., 2019, A mathematical-descriptor of tumor-mesoscopic-structure from computed-tomography images annotates prognostic and molecular-phenotypes of epithelial ovarian cancer, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723

The five-year survival rate of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is approximately 35–40% despite maximal treatment efforts, highlighting a need for stratification biomarkers for personalized treatment. Here we extract 657 quantitative mathematical descriptors from the preoperative CT images of 364 EOC patients at their initial presentation. Using machine learning, we derive a non-invasive summary-statistic of the primary ovarian tumor based on 4 descriptors, which we name “Radiomic Prognostic Vector” (RPV). RPV reliably identifies the 5% of patients with median overall survival less than 2 years, significantly improves established prognostic methods, and is validated in two independent, multi-center cohorts. Furthermore, genetic, transcriptomic and proteomic analysis from two independent datasets elucidate that stromal phenotype and DNA damage response pathways are activated in RPV-stratified tumors. RPV and its associated analysis platform could be exploited to guide personalized therapy of EOC and is potentially transferrable to other cancer types.

Journal article

Jones DT, Valli A, Haider S, Zhang Q, Smethurst EA, Schug ZT, Peck B, Aboagye EO, Critchlow SE, Schulze A, Gottlieb E, Wakelam MJO, Harris ALet al., 2019, 3D Growth of Cancer Cells Elicits Sensitivity to Kinase Inhibitors but Not Lipid Metabolism Modifiers, MOLECULAR CANCER THERAPEUTICS, Vol: 18, Pages: 376-388, ISSN: 1535-7163

Journal article

Arshad MA, Thornton A, Lu H, Tam H, Wallitt K, Rodgers N, Scarsbrook A, McDermott G, Cook GJ, Landau D, Chua S, O'Connor R, Dickson J, Power DA, Barwick TD, Rockall A, Aboagye EOet al., 2019, Discovery of pre-therapy 2-deoxy-2-F-18-fluoro-D-glucose positron emission tomography-based radiomics classifiers of survival outcome in non-small-cell lung cancer patients, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING, Vol: 46, Pages: 455-466, ISSN: 1619-7070

Journal article

Theodorou I, Ruenraroengsak P, Carter D, Jiang Q, Yague E, Aboagye E, Coombes RC, Porter AE, Ryan M, Xie Fet al., 2019, Towards multiplexed near-infrared cellular imaging using gold nanostar arrays with tunable fluorescence enhancement, Nanoscale, Vol: 11, Pages: 2079-2088, ISSN: 2040-3364

Sensitive detection of disease biomarkers expressed by human cells is critical to the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Here we report that plasmonic arrays based on gold nanostar (AuNS) monolayers enable up to 19-fold fluorescence enhancement for cellular imaging in the near-infrared (NIR) biological window, allowing the application of low quantum yield fluorophores for sensitive cellular imaging. The high fluorescence enhancement together with low autofluorescence interference in this wavelength range enable higher signal-to-noise ratio compared to other diagnostic modalities. Using AuNSs of different geometries and therefore controllable electric field enhancement, cellular imaging with tunable enhancement factors is achieved, which may be useful for the development of multicolour and multiplexed platforms for a panel of biomarkers, allowing to distinguish different subcell populations at the single cell level. Finally, the uptake of AuNSs within HeLa cells and their high biocompatibility, pave the way for novel high-performance in vitro and in vivo diagnostic platforms.

Journal article

Fu R, Carroll L, Yahioglu GK, Aboagye E, Miller Pet al., 2018, Antibody fragment and affibody immunoPET imaging agents: radiolabelling strategies and applications, ChemMedChem, Vol: 13, Pages: 2466-2478, ISSN: 1860-7187

Antibodies have long been recognised as potent vectors for carrying diagnostic medical radionuclides, contrast agents and optical probes to diseased tissue for imaging. The area of ImmunoPET combines the use of positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with antibodies to improve the diagnosis, staging and monitoring of diseases. Recent developments in antibody engineering and PET radiochemistry have led to a new wave of experimental ImmunoPET imaging agents that are based on a range of antibody fragments and affibodies. In contrast to full antibodies, engineered affibody proteins and antibody fragments such as minibodies, diabodies, single‐chain variable region fragments (scFvs), and nanobodies are much smaller but retain the essential specificities and affinities of full antibodies in addition to more desirable pharmacokinetics for imaging. Herein, recent key developments in the PET radiolabelling strategies of antibody fragments and related affibody molecules are highlighted, along with the main PET imaging applications of overexpressed antigen‐associated tumours and immune cells.

Journal article

Dubash SR, Merchant S, Heinzmann K, Mauri F, Lavdas I, Inglese M, Kozlowski K, Rama N, Masrour N, Steel JF, Thornton A, Lim AK, Lewanski C, Cleator S, Coombes RC, Kenny L, Aboagye EOet al., 2018, Clinical translation of [F-18]ICMT-11 for measuring chemotherapy-induced caspase 3/7 activation in breast and lung cancer, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Vol: 45, Pages: 2285-2299, ISSN: 1619-7070

BackgroundEffective anticancer therapy is thought to involve induction of tumour cell death through apoptosis and/or necrosis. [18F]ICMT-11, an isatin sulfonamide caspase-3/7-specific radiotracer, has been developed for PET imaging and shown to have favourable dosimetry, safety, and biodistribution. We report the translation of [18F]ICMT-11 PET to measure chemotherapy-induced caspase-3/7 activation in breast and lung cancer patients receiving first-line therapy.ResultsBreast tumour SUVmax of [18F]ICMT-11 was low at baseline and unchanged following therapy. Measurement of M30/M60 cytokeratin-18 cleavage products showed that therapy was predominantly not apoptosis in nature. While increases in caspase-3 staining on breast histology were seen, post-treatment caspase-3 positivity values were only approximately 1%; this low level of caspase-3 could have limited sensitive detection by [18F]ICMT-11-PET. Fourteen out of 15 breast cancer patients responded to first–line chemotherapy (complete or partial response); one patient had stable disease. Four patients showed increases in regions of high tumour [18F]ICMT-11 intensity on voxel-wise analysis of tumour data (classed as PADS); response was not exclusive to patients with this phenotype. In patients with lung cancer, multi-parametric [18F]ICMT-11 PET and MRI (diffusion-weighted- and dynamic contrast enhanced-MRI) showed that PET changes were concordant with cell death in the absence of significant perfusion changes.ConclusionThis study highlights the potential use of [18F]ICMT-11 PET as a promising candidate for non-invasive imaging of caspase3/7 activation, and the difficulties encountered in assessing early-treatment responses. We summarize that tumour response could occur in the absence of predominant chemotherapy-induced caspase-3/7 activation measured non-invasively across entire tumour lesions in patients with breast and lung cancer.

Journal article

Kaliszczak M, Hechanova E, Alsadah H, Li M, Parzych K, Auner H, Aboagye EOet al., 2018, The HDAC6 inhibitor C1A modulates autophagy substrates in diverse cancer cells and induces cell death, British Journal of Cancer, Vol: 119, Pages: 1278-1287, ISSN: 0007-0920

BACKGROUND: Cytosolic Deacetylase HDAC6 is involved in the autophagy degradationpathway of malformed proteins, an important survival mechanism in cancer cells. Weevaluated modulation of autophagy-related proteins and cell death by the HDAC6-selectiveinhibitor C1A.METHODS: Autophagy substrates (LC3 and p62 proteins) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER)stress phenotype were determined. Caspase 3/7 activation and cellular proliferation assayswere used to assess consequences of autophagy modulation.RESULTS: C1A potently resolved autophagy substrates induced by 3-MA and chloroquine.The mechanism of autophagy inhibition by HDAC6 genetic knockout or C1A treatmentwas consistent with abrogation of autophagosome-lysosome fusion, and decrease of Mycprotein. C1A alone or combined with the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib, enhanced celldeath in malignant cells demonstrating the complementary roles of the proteasome andautophagy pathways for clearing malformed proteins. Myc positive neuroblastoma, KRASpositive colorectal cancer and multiple myeloma cells showed marked cell growthinhibition in response to HDAC6 inhibitors. Finally, growth of neuroblastoma xenograftswas arrested in vivo by single agent C1A, while combination with bortezomib slowed thegrowth of colorectal cancer xenografts.CONCLUSIONS: C1A resolves autophagy substrates in malignant cells and induces celldeath, warranting its use for in vivo pre-clinical autophagy research.

Journal article

Heinzmann K, Nguyen Q-D, Honess D, Smith D-M, Stribbling S, Brickute D, Barnes C, Griffiths J, Aboagye Eet al., 2018, Depicting changes in tumor biology in response to cetuximab mono- or combination therapy by apoptosis and proliferation imaging using 18F-ICMT-11 and 3’-Deoxy-3’-[18F]Fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) PET, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol: 59, Pages: 1558-1565, ISSN: 1535-5667

Imaging biomarkers must demonstrate their value in monitoring treatment. Two PET tracers, the caspase-3/7–specific isatin-5-sulfonamide 18F-ICMT-11 (18F-(S)-1-((1-(2-fluoroethyl)-1H-[1,2,3]-triazol-4-yl)methyl)-5-(2(2,4-difluoro-phenoxymethyl)-pyrrolidine-1-sulfonyl)isatin) and 18F-FLT (3′-deoxy-3′-18F-fluorothymidine), were used to detect early treatment-induced changes in tumor biology and determine whether any of these changes indicate a response to cetuximab, administered as monotherapy or combination therapy with gemcitabine. Methods: In mice bearing cetuximab-sensitive H1975 tumors (non–small lung cancer), the effects of single or repeated doses of the antiepidermal growth factor receptor antibody cetuximab (10 mg/kg on day 1 only or on days 1 and 2) or a single dose of gemcitabine (125 mg/kg on day 2) were investigated by 18F-ICMT-11 or 18F-FLT on day 3. Imaging was also performed after 2 doses of cetuximab (days 1 and 2) in mice bearing cetuximab-insensitive HCT116 tumors (colorectal cancer). For imaging–histology comparison, tumors were evaluated for proliferation (Ki-67 and thymidine kinase 1 [TK1]), cell death (cleaved caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling [TUNEL]), and target engagement (epidermal growth factor receptor expression) by immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting, respectively. Tumor and plasma were analyzed for thymidine and gemcitabine metabolites by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry. Results: Retention of both tracers was sensitive to cetuximab in H1975 tumors. 18F-ICMT-11 uptake and ex vivo cleaved caspase-3 staining notably increased in tumors treated with repeated doses of cetuximab (75%) and combination treatment (46%). Although a single dose of cetuximab was insufficient to induce apoptosis, it did affect proliferation. Significant reductions in tumor 18F-FLT uptake (44%–50%; P < 0.001) induce

Journal article

Valindria V, Lavdas I, Cerrolaza J, Aboagye EO, Rockall A, Rueckert D, Glocker Bet al., 2018, Small organ segmentation in whole-body MRI using a two-stage FCN and weighting schemes, International Workshop on Machine Learning in Medical Imaging (MLMI) 2018, Publisher: Springer Verlag, Pages: 346-354, ISSN: 0302-9743

Accurate and robust segmentation of small organs in whole-body MRI is difficult due to anatomical variation and class imbalance. Recent deep network based approaches have demonstrated promising performance on abdominal multi-organ segmentations. However, the performance on small organs is still suboptimal as these occupy only small regions of the whole-body volumes with unclear boundaries and variable shapes. A coarse-to-fine, hierarchical strategy is a common approach to alleviate this problem, however, this might miss useful contextual information. We propose a two-stage approach with weighting schemes based on auto-context and spatial atlas priors. Our experiments show that the proposed approach can boost the segmentation accuracy of multiple small organs in whole-body MRI scans.

Conference paper

Theodorou I, Jiang Q, Malms L, Xie X, Coombes RC, Aboagye E, Porter AE, Ryan M, Xie Fet al., 2018, Fluorescence enhancement from single gold nanostars: towards ultra-bright emission in the first and second near-infrared biological windows, Nanoscale, Vol: 10, Pages: 15854-15864, ISSN: 2040-3364

Gold nanostars (AuNSs) are promising agents for the development of high-performance diagnostic devices, by enabling metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) in the physiological near-infrared (NIR) and second near-infrared (NIR-II) windows. The local electric field near their sharp tips and between their branches can be enhanced by several orders of magnitude, holding great promise for large fluorescence enhancements from single AuNS particles, rather than relying on interparticle coupling in nanoparticle substrates. Here, guided by electric field simulations, two different types of AuNSs with controlled morphologies and plasmonic responses in the NIR and NIR-II regions are used to investigate the mechanism of MEF from colloidal AuNSs. Fluorophore conjugation to AuNSs allows significant fluorescence enhancement of up to 30 times in the NIR window, and up to 4-fold enhancement in the NIR-II region. Together with other inherent advantages of AuNSs, including their multispike morphology offering easy access to cell membranes and their large surface area providing flexible multifunctionality, AuNS are promising for the development of in vivo imaging applications. Using time-resolved fluorescence measurements to deconvolute semi-quantitatively excitation enhancement from emission enhancement, we show that a combination of enhanced excitation and an increased radiative decay rate, both contribute to the observed large enhancement. In accordance to our electric field modelling, however, excitation enhancement is the component that varies most with particle morphology. These findings provide important insights into the mechanism of MEF from AuNSs, and can be used to further guide particle design for high contrast enhancement, enabling the development of MEF biodetection technologies.

Journal article

Lavdas I, Rockall AG, Daulton E, Kozlowski K, Honeyfield L, Aboagye EO, Sharma Ret al., 2018, Histogram analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient from whole-body diffusion-weighted MRI to predict early response to chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer: preliminary results, CLINICAL RADIOLOGY, Vol: 73, ISSN: 0009-9260

Journal article

Li H, Stokes WB, Chater E, Rupniewska E, Roy R, Mauri FA, Liu X, Kaliszczak M, Downward J, Aboagye E, Tang H, Wang Y, Seckl MJ, Pardo OEet al., 2018, Resistance to tyrosine kinase-targeted therapy in lung cancer: Autophagy and metabolic changes, Meta Gene

© 2018 Lung cancer is the commonest cancer killer worldwide. Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKI) are novel agents in the treatment of this cancer. However, their efficacy is impaired by the rapid development of drug-resistance through a variety of mechanisms. Here, we will discuss resistance to the first-generation EGFR inhibitors (e.g. Erlotinib) and SRC inhibitors (e.g. Dasatinib). The principal mechanism of resistance to first-generation EGFR inhibitors is the appearance of the T790M receptor mutation. While the reason for resistance was proposed to be changes in affinity of the receptor for ATP, our metabolomics analysis additionally revealed that resistance is associated with decreased cellular levels of glutathione (GSH), a direct consequence of the T790M mutation. This occurred because of decreased SQSTM1/NRF2-mediated transcription of GSH synthesising enzymes in cell lines and clinical samples with T790M-EGFR. We demonstrate that increasing GSH levels in resistant cells re-sensitises these to first-generation EGFR inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. As compounds exist in the clinic to achieve this, our finding may have profound therapeutic and economic consequences. Src family kinases (SFK) are commonly overexpressed or hyperactivated in lung cancer cell lines and clinical samples. However, despite their on-target efficacy, SRC inhibitors have failed to prevent tumour growth and improve patients’ survival in multiple clinical trial. Here we show that this failure is associated with the induction of autophagy in treated cells that prevents these compounds from triggering apoptosis cell death. Targeting autophagy, either genetically or using our novel small-molecule inhibitor, C1A, sensitises lung cancer cell lines to Dasatinib both in vitro and in vivo by unlocking the apoptotic response. These findings propose new combinational therapeutic strategies that could resurrect the use of SRC inhibitors in the treatment of lung cancer.

Journal article

Heinzmann K, Schelhaas S, Wachsmuth L, Hermann S, Rieder N, Heller A, Honess D, Smith D-M, Fricke I, Just N, Doblas S, Sinkus R, Doering C, Schaefers K, Griffiths J, Faber C, Schneider R, Aboagye E, Jacobs Aet al., 2018, Thymidine metabolism as confounding factor of 3’-Deoxy-3’-[18F]Fluorothymidine uptake after therapy in a colorectal cancer model, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol: 59, Pages: 1063-1069, ISSN: 1535-5667

Non-invasive monitoring of tumor therapy response helps in developing personalized treatment strategies. Here, we performed sequential positron emission tomography (PET) and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) to evaluate changes induced by a FOLFOX-like combination chemotherapy in colorectal cancer (CRC) xenografts, to identify the cellular and molecular determinants of these imaging biomarkers. Methods: Tumor bearing CD1 nude mice, engrafted with FOLFOX-sensitive Colo205 CRC xenografts, were treated with FOLFOX (5 fluorouracil, leucovorin and oxaliplatin) in weekly intervals. On d1, d2, d6, d9 and d13 of therapy, tumors were assessed by in vivo imaging and ex vivo analyses. In addition, HCT116 xenografts, which did not respond to the FOLFOX treatment, were imaged on d1 of therapy. Results: In Colo205 xenografts, FOLFOX induced a profound increase in uptake of the proliferation PET tracer 3’-deoxy-3’-[18F]fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT), which was accompanied by increases in markers for proliferation (Ki67, TK1) and for activated DNA damage response (DDR; γH2AX), whereas the effect on cell death was minimal. As tracer uptake was unaltered in the HCT116 model, these changes appear to be specific for tumor response. Conclusion: We demonstrate that [18F]FLT PET can non-invasively monitor molecular alterations induced by a cancer treatment, including thymidine metabolism and DDR. The cellular or imaging changes may not, however, be directly related to therapy response as assessed by volumetric measurements.

Journal article

Pardo OE, Rupniewska E, Roy R, Mauri FA, Liu X, Kaliszczak M, Tommasi AM, Aboagye E, Seckl MJet al., 2018, Targeting autophagy sensitises lung cancer cells to Src family kinase inhibitors, Oncotarget, Vol: 9, Pages: 27346-27362, ISSN: 1949-2553

Lung cancer is the main cancer killer in both men and women, mostly due to the rapid development of drug resistant metastatic disease. Here, we evaluate the potential involvement of SRC family kinases (SFK) in lung cancer biology and assess the possible benefits of their inhibition as a therapeutic approach. We demonstrated that various SRC family members, including LYN and LCK, normally expressed solely in hematopoietic cells and neural tissues, are overexpressed and activated in a panel of SCLC and NSCLC cell lines. This was clinically relevant as LYN and FYN are also overexpressed in lung cancer clinical specimens. Moreover, LYN overexpression correlated with decreased patient survival on univariate and multivariate analysis. Dasatinib (BMS-354825), a SRC/ABL inhibitor, effectively blocked SFK activation at nanomolar concentrations which correlated with a significant decrease in cell numbers of multiple lung cancer cell lines. This effect was matched by a decrease in DNA synthesis, but only moderate induction of apoptosis. Indeed, dasatinib as well as PP2, another SFK inhibitor, strongly induced autophagy that likely prevented apoptosis. However, inhibition of this autophagic response induced robust apoptosis and sensitised lung cancer cells to dasatinib in vitro and in vivo. Our results provide an explanation for why dasatinib failed in NSCLC clinical trials. Furthermore, our data suggest that combining SFK inhibitors with autophagy inhibitors could provide a novel therapeutic approach in this disease.

Journal article

Inglese M, Grech-Sollars M, Ordidge K, Vaja V, Honeyfield L, Khan S, Barwick T, Aboagye E, Waldman ADet al., Association between pharmacokinetic parameters from DCE-MRI and metabolic parameters from dynamic 18F-fluoromethylcholine PET in human brain glioma, 27th International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Conference paper

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