Intratumor Heterogeneity in Interstitial Fluid Pressure in Cervical and Pancreatic Carcinoma Xenografts

Transl Oncol. 2019 Aug;12(8):1079-1085. doi: 10.1016/j.tranon.2019.05.012. Epub 2019 Jun 4.


Preclinical studies have suggested that interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) is uniformly elevated in the central region of tumors, whereas clinical studies have revealed that IFP may vary among different measurement sites in the tumor center. IFP measurements are technically difficult, and it has been claimed that the intratumor heterogeneity in IFP reported for human tumors is due to technical problems. The main purpose of this study was to determine conclusively whether IFP may be heterogeneously elevated in the central tumor region, and if so, to reveal possible mechanisms and possible consequences. Tumors of two xenograft models were included in the study: HL-16 cervical carcinoma and Panc-1 pancreatic carcinoma. IFP was measured with Millar SPC 320 catheters in two positions in each tumor and related to tumor histology or the metastatic status of the host mouse. Some tumors of both models showed significant intratumor heterogeneity in IFP, and this heterogeneity was associated with a compartmentalized histological appearance (i.e., the tissue was divided into compartments separated by thick connective tissue bands) in HL-16 tumors and with a dense collagen-I-rich extracellular matrix in Panc-1 tumors, suggesting that these connective tissue structures prevented efficient interstitial convection. Furthermore, some tumors of both models developed lymph node metastases, and of the two IFP values measured in each tumor, only the higher value was significantly higher in metastatic than in non-metastatic tumors, suggesting that metastatic propensity was determined by the tumor region having the highest IFP.