Researchers from Millennium Pharmaceuticals have demonstrated significant accuracy and dynamic sensitivity of Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) against conventional PET imaging techniques. CLI is an emerging imaging modality similar to bio-luminescence imaging which is being investigated as a more rapid, lower-cost alternative to PET for preclinical drug discovery applications. CLI captures visible protons emitted by Cerenkov Radiation, the phenomenon responsible for the bluish glow often seen in nuclear reactors and the inspiration for Dr. Manhattan’s Blueish Appearance.
The research, which was published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, demonstrated a very high correlation between CLI and PET imaging analyses of radio-pharmaceutical (F-FDG) uptake in an in vivo preclinical anti-tumor study.
From the article:
Methods: Imaging of 18F-FDG uptake was performed at 5 time points after drug treatment in the subcutaneously implanted diffuse large B-cell lymphoma tumor line OCI-Ly10. Data were acquired with both modalities on the same day, with a 15-min delay between CLI and PET. PET data analysis was performed using percentage injected dose per cubic centimeter of tissue (%ID/cm3), average standardized uptake values, and total glycolytic volume. CLI measurements were radiance, radiance per injected dose (radiance/ID), and total radiant volume. Results: A strong correlation was found between PET total glycolytic volume and CLI total radiant volume (r2 = 0.99) and various PET and CLI analysis methods, with strong correlations found between PET %ID/cm3 and CLI radiance (r2 = 0.83) and CLI radiance/ID (r2 = 0.82).
The researchers anticipate that this initial validation of CLI will provide accelerated development and increased yield for oncology drug discovery.
Here’s an easy video explanation (part promo for the movie Watchmen) of Cerenkov Radiation:
Abstract in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine: Multimodal Imaging with 18F-FDG PET and Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging After MLN4924 Treatment in a Human Lymphoma Xenograft Model