Quantitative metrics of net proliferation and invasion link biological aggressiveness assessed by MRI with hypoxia assessed by FMISO-PET in newly diagnosed glioblastomas

Cancer Res. 2009 May 15;69(10):4502-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-3884. Epub 2009 Apr 14.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) are aggressive and uniformly fatal primary brain tumors characterized by their diffuse invasion of the normal-appearing parenchyma peripheral to the clinical imaging abnormality. Hypoxia, a hallmark of aggressive tumor behavior often noted in GBMs, has been associated with resistance to therapy, poorer survival, and more malignant tumor phenotypes. Based on the existence of a set of novel imaging techniques and modeling tools, our objective was to assess a hypothesized quantitative link between tumor growth kinetics [assessed via mathematical models and routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)] and the hypoxic burden of the tumor [assessed via positron emission tomography (PET) imaging]. Our biomathematical model for glioma kinetics describes the spatial and temporal evolution of a glioma in terms of concentration of malignant tumor cells. This model has already been proven useful as a novel tool to dynamically quantify the net rates of proliferation (rho) and invasion (D) of the glioma cells in individual patients. Estimates of these kinetic rates can be calculated from routinely available pretreatment MRI in vivo. Eleven adults with GBM were imaged preoperatively with (18)F-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO)-PET and serial gadolinium-enhanced T1- and T2-weighted MRIs to allow the estimation of patient-specific net rates of proliferation (rho) and invasion (D). Hypoxic volumes were quantified from each FMISO-PET scan following standard techniques. To control for tumor size variability, two measures of hypoxic burden were considered: relative hypoxia (RH), defined as the ratio of the hypoxic volume to the T2-defined tumor volume, and the mean intensity on FMISO-PET scaled to the blood activity of the tracer (mean T/B). Pearson correlations between RH and the net rate of cell proliferation (rho) reached significance (P < 0.04). Moreover, highly significant positive correlations were found between biological aggressiveness ratio (rho/D) and both RH (P < 0.00003) and the mean T/B (P < 0.0007).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Gadolinium
  • Glioblastoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Glioblastoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Misonidazole / analogs & derivatives
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Contrast Media
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • fluoromisonidazole
  • Misonidazole
  • Gadolinium