British Journal of Cancer vol:89 issue:9 pages:1796-801
The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of fluorine-19 magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((19)F MRS) for monitoring in vivo the conversion of 5-fluorocytosine (5-FC) to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) after using an attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium strain recombinant to provide cytosine deaminase (TAPET-CD). The (19)F MRS measurements were done on mice bearing the human colon tumour xenograft (HCT116). The intratumoural conversion is greater when TAPET-CD/5-FC is delivered intratumourally (i.tu.) than when TAPET-CD is delivered intravenously (i.v.) and 5-FC intraperitoneally (i.p.). Repeat measurements of the same tumour also yielded important information on the tumour colonization by TAPET-CD through the correlated 5-FC to 5-FU conversion efficacy. The in vivo MRS spectra were confirmed by in vitro (19)F MRS of perchloric acid extracts of the tumour tissue. No 5-FU metabolites were detectable in vivo in the tumours. However, the in vitro measurements revealed, besides 5-FC and 5-FU, the presence of small amounts of catabolites. Finally, spectra obtained in vitro from liver extracts of tumour-bearing mice treated i.tu. with TAPET-CD/5-FC showed no 5-FU and only little amounts of catabolites. Our data illustrate most importantly the potential of (19)F MRS to monitor biologically-based treatments involving cytosine deaminase.