[F-18]-Fluoroazomycin arabinoside Injection (“[F-18]-FAZA”), when used with positron emission tomography (PET), is being studied as a non-invasive imaging biomarker for the in vivo assessment of tumor hypoxia. Increased tumor hypoxia is a major hallmark of cancer progression and may help to predict treatment outcome. Hypoxia imaging is also being investigated as an indicator of treatment response and to determine precise regions of tumors that require enhanced radiotherapy, which could lead to better patient outcomes.

When [F-18]-FAZA enters into cells of an internal hypoxic environment, its nitroimidazole moiety undergoes reductive metabolism and forms highly reactive intermediates that bind to macromolecular cellular components.  This causes a selective accumulation of [F‑18]-FAZA within hypoxic cells, but not in cells with normal oxygen levels, making [F-18]-FAZA a potentially useful PET imaging agent.


Halmos GB, Bruine de Bruin L, Langendijk JA et al. Head and neck tumor hypoxia imaging by 18F-fluoroazomycin-arabinoside (18F-FAZA)-PET: a review. Clin Nucl Med. 2014; 39(1): 44-8.


Mortensen LS, Johansen J, Kallehauge J et al.  FAZA PET/CT hypoxia imaging in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with radiotherapy:  Results from the DAHANCA 24 trial.  Radiother Oncol.  2012; 105(1):14-20.


Postema EJ, McEwan AJB, Riauka TA et al. Initial results of hypoxia imaging using 1-α-D-(5-deoxy-5-[18F]-fluoroarabinofuranosyl)-2-nitroimidazole (18F-FAZA).  Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2009; 36: 1565-1573.



These references are provided for informational purposes only and do not represent an endorsement for any particular clinical use. 

Investigational Product Use Only

The safety and efficacy of [F-18]-FAZA Injection have not been fully established and it has not been approved by Health Canada as a commercial product for medicinal use. It is an investigational drug product and can only be used under an approved clinical trial application (CTA). Please contact the CPDC if you require further information.