The unique physiological environment of solid tumors, frequently characterized by areas of poor flow, hypoxia, high lactate and low extracellular pH (pHe), influences vascularization, invasion and metastasis. Thus, vascularization and the physiological and metabolic environment play permissive (and conversely preventive) roles in invasion and metastasis. By using a multi-parametric approach of combined vascular and spectroscopic imaging, we can begin to evaluate which combinations of vascular, metabolic and physiological regions in a solid tumor represent the highest 'metastatic threat'. Here, we present measurements of pHe, vascular volume and permeability from co-localized regions within a solid tumor. These studies were performed for a group of metastatic (MDA-MB-231) and non-metastatic (MCF-7) human breast cancer xenografts. In this study, we have demonstrated the feasibility of such an approach, and presented methods of analyses to detect differences in patterns of combined parameters obtained from spatially co-registered regions in a solid tumor.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.