Prognostic significance of tumor oxygenation in humans

Cancer Lett. 2003 May 30;195(1):1-16. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(03)00012-0.


Low tissue oxygen concentration has been shown to be important in the response of human tumors to radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other treatment modalities. Hypoxia is also known to be a prognostic indicator, as hypoxic human tumors are more biologically aggressive and are more likely to recur locally and metastasize. Herein, we discuss and summarize the various methods under investigation to directly or indirectly measure tissue oxygen in vivo. Secondly, we consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of these techniques. These considerations are made in light of our specific hypotheses that hypoxia should be measured as a continuum, not a binary measurement and that moderate, not severe hypoxia is of great biological consequence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Case Management
  • Cell Hypoxia*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nitroimidazoles / analysis
  • Oximetry / instrumentation
  • Oximetry / methods*
  • Oxygen / analysis
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Partial Pressure
  • Prognosis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / analysis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Rodentia
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Biomarkers
  • Nitroimidazoles
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Oxygen