The distribution of 5-[18F]fluorouracil has been compared in two variants of the same tumor in C57BL × DBA/2 F1 mice: solid L1210 lymphocytic leukemia tumor susceptible to 5-fluorouracil treatment and the same tumor, made resistant to the drug over a 34-generation span. Significant differences in 5-[18F]fluorouracil distribution were observed, most notably in the tumor:blood ratios at 12 hr postinjection. The drug-responsive tumor showed a 20:1 concentration ratio, whereas the drug-resistant tumor only had a 4:1 concentration ratio. We postulate that these differences, observed here in this animal tumor model, may be a reflection of similar ratio differences in humans. This technique may allow, by noninvasive quantification of tumor:blood ratios following administration of 5-[18F]fluorouracil to man, the differentiation of those human tumors that are likely to respond to drug therapy from those in which the response will be minimal or nil.
Supported by National Cancer Institute Grants PO1-CA-14089 and PO1-CA-19438.