Dual-Isotope SPECT Imaging with NIS Reporter Gene and Duramycin to Visualize Tumor Susceptibility to Oncolytic Virus Infection

Lianwen Zhang, Lukkana Suksanpaisan, Huailei Jiang, Timothy R. DeGrado, Stephen J. Russell, Ming Zhao, Kah Whye Peng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Noninvasive dual-imaging methods that provide an early readout on tumor permissiveness to virus infection and tumor cell death could be valuable in optimizing development of oncolytic virotherapies. Here, we have used the sodium iodide symporter (NIS) and 125I radiotracer to detect infection and replicative spread of an oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in VSV-susceptible (MPC-11 tumor) versus VSV-resistant (CT26 tumor) tumors in BALB/c mice. In conjunction, tumor cell death was imaged simultaneously using technetium (99mTc)-duramycin that binds phosphatidylethanolamine in apoptotic and necrotic cells. Dual-isotope single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging showed areas of virus infection (NIS and 125I), which overlapped well with areas of tumor cell death (99mTc-duramycin imaging) in susceptible tumors. Multiple infectious foci arose early in MPC-11 tumors, which rapidly expanded throughout the tumor parenchyma over time. There was a dose-dependent increase in numbers of infectious centers and 99mTc-duramycin-positive areas with viral dose. In contrast, NIS or duramycin signals were minimal in VSV-resistant CT26 tumors. Combinatorial use of NIS and 99mTc-duramycin SPECT imaging for simultaneous monitoring of oncolytic virotherapy (OV) spread and the presence or absence of treatment-associated cell death could be useful to guide development of combination treatment strategies to enhance therapeutic outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Therapy - Oncolytics
StatePublished - Dec 20 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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