Monitoring oxygen levels in orthotopic human glioma xenograft following carbogen inhalation and chemotherapy by implantable resonator-based oximetry

Int J Cancer. 2015 Apr 1;136(7):1688-96. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29132. Epub 2014 Aug 22.


Hypoxia is a critical hallmark of glioma, and significantly compromises treatment efficacy. Unfortunately, techniques for monitoring glioma pO2 to facilitate translational research are lacking. Furthermore, poor prognosis of patients with malignant glioma, in particular glioblastoma multiforme, warrant effective strategies that can inhibit hypoxia and improve treatment outcome. EPR oximetry using implantable resonators was implemented for monitoring pO2 in normal cerebral tissue and U251 glioma in mice. Breathing carbogen (95% O2 + 5% CO2 ) was tested for hyperoxia in the normal brain and glioma xenografts. A new strategy to inhibit glioma growth by rationally combining gemcitabine and MK-8776, a cell cycle checkpoint inhibitor, was also investigated. The mean pO2 of left and right hemisphere were ∼56-69 mmHg in the normal cerebral tissue of mice. The mean baseline pO2 of U251 glioma on the first and fifth day of measurement was 21.9 ± 3.7 and 14.1 ± 2.4 mmHg, respectively. The mean brain pO2 including glioma increased by at least 100% on carbogen inhalation, although the response varied between the animals over days. Treatment with gemcitabine + MK-8776 significantly increased pO2 and inhibited glioma growth assessed by MRI. In conclusion, EPR oximetry with implantable resonators can be used to monitor the efficacy of carbogen inhalation and chemotherapy on orthotopic glioma in mice. The increase in glioma pO2 of mice breathing carbogen can be used to improve treatment outcome. The treatment with gemcitabine + MK-8776 is a promising strategy that warrants further investigation.

Keywords: EPR oximetry; carbogen; cell cycle checkpoint; chemotherapy; glioma; pO2.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Carbon Dioxide / administration & dosage*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Deoxycytidine / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gemcitabine
  • Glioma / diagnosis
  • Glioma / drug therapy
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Inhalation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oximetry
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage*
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Pyrazoles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • Pyrimidines / administration & dosage
  • Pyrimidines / pharmacology
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • MK-8776
  • Pyrazoles
  • Pyrimidines
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • carbogen
  • Oxygen
  • Gemcitabine