Background: Tumour hypoxia limits the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Delivering normobaric or hyperbaric oxygen therapy elevates pO2 in both tumour and normal brain tissue. However, pO2 levels return to baseline within 15 minutes of stopping therapy.
Aim: To investigate the effect of perfluorocarbon (PFC) emulsions on hypoxia in subcutaneous and intracranial mouse gliomas and their radiosensitising effect in orthotopic gliomas in mice breathing carbogen (95%O2 and 5%CO2).
Results: PFC emulsions completely abrogated hypoxia in both subcutaneous and intracranial GL261 models and conferred a significant survival advantage orthotopically (Mantel Cox: p = 0.048) in carbogen breathing mice injected intravenously (IV) with PFC emulsions before radiation versus mice receiving radiation alone. Carbogen alone decreased hypoxia levels substantially and conferred a smaller but not statistically significant survival advantage over and above radiation alone.
Conclusion: IV injections of PFC emulsions followed by 1h carbogen breathing, radiosensitises GL261 intracranial tumors.