Imaging tumour physiology and vasculature to predict and assess response to heat

Int J Hyperthermia. 2010;26(3):264-72. doi: 10.3109/02656730903585982.


The vascular supply of tumours and the tumour microenvironment both play an important role when tumours are treated with hyperthermia. Blood flow is one of the major vehicles by which heat is dissipated thus the vascular supply will influence the ability to heat the tumour. It also influences the type of microenvironment that exists within tumours, and it is now well-established that cells existing in areas of oxygen deficiency, nutrient deprivation and acidic conditions are more sensitive to the effect of hyperthermia. The vascular supply and microenvironment are also affected by hyperthermia. In general, mild heat temperatures transiently improve blood flow and oxygenation, while higher hyperthermia temperatures cause vascular collapse and so increase the adverse microenvironmental conditions. Being able to image these vascular and microenvironmental parameters both before and after heating will help in our ability to predict and assess response. Here we review the various techniques that can be applied to supply this information, especially using non-invasive imaging approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced*
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Microcirculation*
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Positron-Emission Tomography