Rationale: Malignant tumors often show an increased uptake and metabolism of plasma proteins, especially albumin.
Objectives: Determine whether the accumulation of low loaded Gd-albumin improves visualization of malignant tumors by MRI.
Methods: Twelve nude mice with heterotransplanted squamous cell carcinomas were studied. The signal intensity of tumor, blood, liver, kidney and muscle tissue was studied in MR images after application of Gd-albumin during a period of 144 hours. MRI results were histologically correlated after simultaneously injection of Gd- and fluorescein-labeled albumins in 9 nude mice.
Results: Although liver and kidney had a maximum increase in signal intensity within 30 minutes, tumors showed a delayed 51% increase in the 24 hours after application. Histologic and fluorescence evaluation demonstrated albumin localization in tumors predominantly in stroma and necroses.
Conclusions: Gd-albumin is efficiently accumulated in SCC transplants. MRI with low loaded Gd-albumin may offer relevant opportunities for recognizing tumors sensitive to a therapy with cyostic drug-labeled albumins.