The effective delivery of a therapeutic drug to the core of a tumor is often impeded by physiological barriers, such as the interstitial fluid pressure (IFP). There are a number of therapies that can decrease IFP and induce tumor vascular normalization. However, a lack of a noninvasive means to measure IFP hinders the utilization of such a window of opportunity for the maximization of the treatment response. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) diffusion parameters as noninvasive imaging biomarkers for IFP. Mice bearing the 4T1 mammary carcinoma model were studied using diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), immediately followed by wick-in-needle IFP measurement. Voxelwise analysis was conducted with a conventional monoexponential diffusion model, as well as a biexponential model taking IVIM into account. There was no significant correlation of IFP with either the median apparent diffusion coefficient from the monoexponential model (r = 0.11, p = 0.78) or the median tissue diffusivity from the biexponential model (r = 0.30, p = 0.44). However, IFP was correlated with the median pseudo-diffusivity (D(p)) of apparent vascular voxels (r = 0.76, p = 0.02) and with the median product of the perfusion fraction and pseudo-diffusivity (f(p)D(p)) of apparent vascular voxels (r = 0.77, p = 0.02). Although the effect of IVIM in tumors has been reported previously, to our knowledge, this study represents the first direct comparison of IVIM metrics with IFP, with the results supporting the feasibility of the use of IVIM DWI metrics as noninvasive biomarkers for tumor IFP.
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.