Early detection of treatment response by diffusion-weighted 1H-NMR spectroscopy in a murine tumour in vivo

Br J Cancer. 1996 Jan;73(1):61-4. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1996.11.


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) non-invasively measures the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of water, which is sensitive to the biophysical characteristics of tissue. Because anti-cancer treatment alters tumour pathophysiology, tumour ADC may be altered by treatment. In order to test this hypothesis, ADC was measured in s.c. implanted murine RIF-1 tumours before and up to 9 days after treatment with cyclophosphamide. A dose-dependent, reversible increase in tumour ADC was observed after cyclophosphamide treatment, which is consistent with an increase in the fraction of interstitial water due to treatment-induced cell death. Because tumour water ADC is increased substantially at a time when there is no change in tumour volume for a dose which produces minimal cell kill, its measurement could provide a novel means for early detection of response to anti-cancer therapy. If the changes in ADC observed in the present study are evident for commonly used anti-cancer therapies in different tumour types and specific to a therapeutic response, the approach could be broadly applicable as a response predictor since magnetic resonance imaging can be used to measure ADC in human tumours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / pharmacology
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cyclophosphamide / pharmacology
  • Diffusion
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fibrosarcoma / diagnosis*
  • Fibrosarcoma / drug therapy*
  • Fibrosarcoma / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / metabolism
  • Protons
  • Water / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • Protons
  • Water
  • Cyclophosphamide