Biodistribution imaging of a paclitaxel-hyaluronan bioconjugate

Alessandra Banzato, Maria Rondina, Laura Meléndez-Alafort, Elena Zangoni, Anna Nadali, Davide Renier, Giuliano Moschini, Ulderico Mazzi, Paola Zanovello, Antonio Rosato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Gamma-ray detectors represent sensitive and noninvasive instruments to evaluate in vivo the metabolic trapping of radiopharmaceuticals. This study aimed to assess the imaging biodistribution of a [99mTc]-radiolabelled new prototype bioconjugate composed of paclitaxel linked to hyaluronan (ONCOFID-P). Methods: A small gamma camera providing high-resolution images was employed. Imaging of biodistribution following intravenous, intraperitoneal, intravesical and oral administration was carried out for a 2-h period in anesthetized mice receiving [99mTc]ONCOFID-P. At the end of the observation time, radioactivity in organs was directly measured. As a control, groups of mice were treated with free [3H]paclitaxel given according to the same administration routes, and organ biodistribution of the drug was assessed after 2 h. Results: Intravenous inoculation of [99mTc]ONCOFID-P was followed by a rapid and strong liver uptake. In fact, almost 80% of the imaging signal was detected in this organ 10 min after injection and such value remained constant thereafter, thus indicating that the bioconjugate given through the intravenous route could be well suited to targeting primary or metastatic liver neoplasias. Imaging of the bladder, abdomen and gastrointestinal tract after local administration disclosed that the radiolabelled compound remained confined to the cavities, suggesting a potential regional application for transitional bladder cell carcinomas, ovarian cancers and gastric tumors, respectively. Free [3H]paclitaxel biodistribution profoundly differed from that of [99mTc]ONCOFID-P. Conclusions: Conjugation of drugs with polymers results in new chemical entities characterized by a modified biodistribution pattern. Therefore, preclinical studies based on imaging analysis of such new compounds can suggest novel therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-533
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • Bioconjugate
  • Gamma camera
  • Hyaluronan
  • Paclitaxel
  • Radiopharmaceuticals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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