64cu-atsm predicts efficacy of carbon ion radiotherapy associated with cellular antioxidant capacity

Ankita Nachankar, Takahiro Oike, Hirofumi Hanaoka, Ayaka Kanai, Hiro Sato, Yukari Yoshida, Hideru Obinata, Makoto Sakai, Naoto Osu, Yuka Hirota, Akihisa Takahashi, Atsushi Shibata, Tatsuya Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Carbon ion radiotherapy is an emerging cancer treatment modality that has a greater therapeutic window than conventional photon radiotherapy. To maximize the efficacy of this extremely scarce medical resource, it is important to identify predictive biomarkers of higher carbon ion relative biological effectiveness (RBE) over photons. We addressed this issue by focusing on cellular antioxidant capacity and investigated64Cu(II)-diacetyl-bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone) (64Cu-ATSM), a potential radioligand that reflects an over-reduced intracellular environment. We found that the carbon ion RBE correlated with64Cu-ATSM uptake both in vitro and in vivo. High RBE/64Cu-ATSM cells showed greater steady-state levels of antioxidant proteins and increased capacity to scavenge reactive oxygen species in response to X-rays than low RBE/64Cu-ATSM counterparts; this upregulation of antioxidant systems was associated with downregulation of TCA cycle intermediates. Furthermore, inhibition of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) sensitized high RBE/64Cu-ATSM cells to X-rays, thereby reducing RBE values to levels comparable to those in low RBE/64Cu-ATSM cells. These data suggest that the cellular activity of Nrf2-driven antioxidant systems is a possible determinant of carbon ion RBE predictable by64Cu-ATSM uptake. These new findings highlight the potential clinical utility of64Cu-ATSM imaging to identify high RBE tumors that will benefit from carbon ion radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6159
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • 64Cu-ATSM
  • Antioxidant sys-tems
  • Carbon ion radiotherapy
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Relative biological effectiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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