New imaging process provides better picture of tumours

October 12, 2012

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in Europe and the world, and early detection and treatment remains vital in the fight. Researchers in Norway have validated a method of non-invasive imaging that they believe will aid in the identification of aggressive tumours. Their breakthrough provides valuable information about interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) of solid tumours, and their results have been published in Cancer Research.

In the European Union, the long-term aim is the primary prevention of cancer. EU Health Ministers have adopted recommendations for best practice in the early detection of cancer. Regular and systematic examinations can detect the disease early, when it is more responsive to less aggressive treatment. Once detected, the appropriate treatment can be prescribed. It has been shown that these examinations can significantly reduce and improve the quality of life of .

The researchers based their research on IFP, which many malignant solid tumours generally develop a higher amount compared to normal tissue. Interstitial fluid, also known as tissue fluid, is the solution surrounding our cells. It provides our cells with nutrition as well as a means of .

An average person has approximately 11 litres of this fluid in their body. In tumours however, high pressure is created and this may cause a reduced uptake of chemotherapeutic agents and resistance to . In addition, a high IFP has been found to promote metastatic spread, which is when the cancer 'migrates' to another location in the body.

'Currently, an imaging method for non-invasive assessment of the IFP of tumours is needed to evaluate the potential of IFP as a biomarker for cancer and, hence, to identify patients with cancer who may benefit from particularly because of highly elevated tumour IFP,' said Einar K. Rofstad, Ph.D., of the department of radiation biology at the Institute for , Norwegian Radium Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

What Rofstad and colleagues did was to test the use of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate the velocity of fluid flow from tumours in human cell lines of cervical carcinoma and melanoma implanted in mice. The researchers had hypothesised that the velocity of fluid flow from tumour tissue into adjacent tissue was determined by the IFP drop at the tumour surface.

Their results indicated that the velocity of the fluid flow at the tumour surface strongly correlated with the magnitude of the tumour IFP, and that dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI with gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA) as a contrast agent can be used to noninvasively measure the fluid-flow velocity.

In addition, primary tumours of mice with metastases had a significantly higher IFP and fluid-flow velocity at the tumour surface compared with the primary tumours of metastasis-free mice, confirming that the development of lymph node metastases strongly correlated to the IFP of the primary tumour and the velocity of fluid flow as measured by Gd-DTPA-based dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI.

'Our findings establish that Gd-DTPA-based dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI can noninvasively visualise tumour IFP,' Rofstad said. 'This reveals the potential for the fluid-flow velocity at the tumour surface determined by this imaging method to serve as a novel general biomarker of tumour aggressiveness.'

Rofstad went on to add that comprehensive prospective clinical investigations in several types of cancer are needed to assess the value of fluid-flow velocity at the surface level as a general for interstitial hypertension-induced cancer aggressiveness.

Explore further: Noninvasive measurement enables use of IFP as potential biomarker for tumor aggressiveness

Related Stories

Noninvasive measurement enables use of IFP as potential biomarker for tumor aggressiveness

October 1, 2012
Researchers validated a method of noninvasive imaging that provides valuable information about interstitial fluid pressure of solid tumors and may aid in the identification of aggressive tumors, according to the results of ...

New strategy to attack tumor-feeding blood vessels

June 6, 2011
Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have discovered a key molecule needed to kill the blood vessels that supply tumours.

Cancer treatment discovery opens tumours to immune cells

May 28, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) have made exciting progress in their quest to help patients fight cancer using the body's own immune system.The Perth-based team ...

Treatment of common virus can reduce tumour growth

September 27, 2011
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to inhibit the growth of brain tumours by treating the common Cytomegalovirus (CMV). The virus, which is found in a wide ...

Recommended for you

Clear link between heavy vitamin B intake and lung cancer

August 22, 2017
New research suggests long-term, high-dose supplementation with vitamins B6 and B12—long touted by the vitamin industry for increasing energy and improving metabolism—is associated with a two- to four-fold increased lung ...

Study provides insight into link between two rare tumor syndromes

August 22, 2017
UCLA researchers have discovered that timing is everything when it comes to preventing a specific gene mutation in mice from developing rare and fast-growing cancerous tumors, which also affects young children. This mutation ...

Retaining one normal BRCA gene in breast, ovarian cancers influences patient survival

August 22, 2017
Determining which cancer patients are likely to be resistant to initial treatment is a major research effort of oncologists and laboratory scientists. Now, ascertaining who might fall into that category may become a little ...

Study identifies miR122 target sites in liver cancer and links a gene to patient survival

August 22, 2017
A new study of a molecule that regulates liver-cell metabolism and suppresses liver-cancer development shows that the molecule interacts with thousands of genes in liver cells, and that when levels of the molecule go down, ...

Zebrafish larvae could be used as 'avatars' to optimize personalized treatment of cancer

August 21, 2017
Portuguese scientists have for the first time shown that the larvae of a tiny fish could one day become the preferred model for predicting, in advance, the response of human malignant tumors to the various therapeutic drugs ...

Scientists discover vitamin C regulates stem cell function, curbs leukemia development

August 21, 2017
Not much is known about stem cell metabolism, but a new study from the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) has found that stem cells take up unusually high levels of vitamin C, which then ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.