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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Journal of Biomedical Science.

Volume 21, Issue 1, 29 April 2014, Article number 35.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2014 Paudyal et al.


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to develop the near infrared fluorescence (NIRF)-based imaging agent for the visualization of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in colon cancer. AlexaFluor 750 conjugating with bevacizumab, and injected intravenously into nude mice bearing VEGF over-expressing HT29 human colorectal cancer. Optical imaging was performed at 15 min, 24 h and 48 h post injection. Immunofluorescences staining of the tumor sections were performed. HT29 colorectal cancer xenografts were clearly visualized with bevacizumab-AlexaFluor 750.

RESULTS: Ex vivo analysis showed 2.1 ± 0.4%, 37.6 ± 6.3% and 38.5 ± 6.2% injected dose/g accumulated in the tumors at 15 min, 24 h and 48 h respectively. Tumor uptake was significantly decreased in pretreated with excess of bevacizumab (p = 0.002). Immunofluorescence analysis showed strong staining of anti-CD 31 antibody around the blood vessels. Anti-VEGF-A and bevacizumab showed heterogeneous expression throughout the tumor.

CONCLUSIONS: Current study successfully detected the VEGF expression in HT29 colorectal cancer xenografts, signifying as a potential agent for non-invasive imaging of VEGF expression, which may be applied in clinical practice.

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