[18F] FDOPA PET Imaging in Glioma: Feasibility Study for PET Guided Brain Biopsy

Study Purpose

[18F]fluorodopa (3, 4-dihydroxy-6-[18F]fluoro-L-phenylalanine/ FDOPA) is an amino acid PET tracer originally developed for brain imaging in patients with movement disorders but has been found to be useful in brain tumour imaging. [18F]fluorodopa has been demonstrated to be predominantly transported by the L-type amino acid transporter without significant uptake into surrounding normal brain parenchyma with the exception of the basal ganglia. Assessing the feasibility of performing PET guided histopathology in a single and multi-site setting will be crucial in order to use PET as a planning tool for brain biopsy to detect high-grade transformation in low-grade gliomas.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Age over 18 years. 2. Diagnosed with low-grade glioma based on clinical standard of care imaging and scheduled for primary surgical resection of low-grade glioma. 3. Females of childbearing potential and males agree to use an effective method of contraception from the time consent is signed until 1 week after surgery. 4. Females of childbearing potential have a negative urine pregnancy test within 7 days prior to being registered. Participants are considered not of child bearing potential if they are surgically sterile (i.e. they have undergone a hysterectomy, bilateral tubal ligation, or bilateral oophorectomy) or they are postmenopausal. 5. Willing and able to provide written informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Females who are pregnant, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding. 2. Concurrent and/or recent involvement in other research or use of another experimental investigational medicinal product that is likely to interfere with the study medication within 28 days of study enrolment. 3. MRI contraindicated (e.g. implanted electric and electronic devices, heart pacemakers, insulin pumps, implanted hearing aids, neurostimulators, intracranial metal clips, metallic bodies in the eye). 4. Other psychological, social or medical condition, physical examination finding or a laboratory abnormality that the Investigator considers would make the patient a poor study candidate or could interfere with protocol compliance or the interpretation of study results. 5. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy/radiotherapy treatment for low-grade glioma which would interfere with the interpretation of study results. 6. Any other problems that may make the patient unable to tolerate the PET scans (e.g. claustrophobia).

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

University College, London
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Geoffrey Higgins
Principal Investigator Affiliation University College, London
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United Kingdom

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Additional Details

Glioma is a cancer of unmet need, where survival trends have not significantly changed for decades. The distinction between high-grade (HGG) and low-grade glioma (LGG) is important as both entities confer different prognoses and management strategies. This distinction is normally made on biopsy sampling and conventional imaging. However, sampling errors are not uncommon due to the heterogeneous nature of glioma. Case series have described under-grading of gliomas on biopsy in 28% to 63% of cases. Furthermore, up to one third of high-grade gliomas may not display the typical imaging characteristics (enhancement) of a high-grade glioma. Therefore, more accurate imaging may help to make this distinction and guide biopsy and clinical management decisions at the outset. There has been growing interest in the use of amino acid PET in glioma imaging. Transport of amino acids across the blood brain barrier and low physiological levels of tracer uptake within the brain allow for good tumour visualisation. The most frequently used amino acid PET tracers described in clinical literature are [11C]methionine, [18F]fluoroethyltyrosine and [18F]fluorodopa, which predominantly reflect leucine transport, being mainly transported by LAT1, a high affinity leucine transporter. Alongside depiction of tumour volume, described roles of amino acid PET include differentiation of true disease progression from pseudo progression, detection of residual disease in the post-surgical patient, biopsy guidance and prognostication. Rationale The primary objective of the study will be to establish the feasibility of performing [18F]fluorodopa PET guided histopathology in a single and multi-site setting. Basic tumour characterisation (for example Ki67 expression and detection of IDH mutations) will be undertaken.

Arms & Interventions


Other: Intervention arm

PET/CT with fluorodopa tracer


Diagnostic Test: - Fluorodopa PET tracer

PET/CT scan using fluorodopa tracer

Contact a Trial Team

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International Sites

Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom




Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX3 9DU

Site Contact

Joy Roach, Dr

[email protected]

01865 270000

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