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Neoplasia. 2009 Nov;11(11):1243-51.

Radiocurability is associated with interstitial fluid pressure in human tumor xenografts.

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Group of Radiation Biology and Tumor Physiology, Department of Radiation Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


Interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) has been shown to be an independent prognostic parameter for disease-free survival in cervical carcinoma patients treated with radiation therapy. However, the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The main aims of this study were to investigate whether tumor radiocurability may be associated with IFP and, if so, to identify possible mechanisms. Human melanoma xenografts transplanted intradermally or in window chamber preparations in BALB/c nu/nu mice were used as preclinical tumor models. Radiation dose resulting in 50% local tumor control was higher by a factor of 1.19 +/- 0.06 in tumors with IFP > or = 9 mm Hg than in tumors with IFP < or = 7 mm Hg. Tumor IFP was positively correlated to vessel segment length and vessel tortuosity and was inversely correlated to vessel density. Compared with tumors with low IFP, tumors with high IFP showed high resistance to blood flow, high frequency of Po(2) fluctuations, and high fractions of acutely hypoxic cells, whereas the fraction of radiobiologically hypoxic cells and the fraction of chronically hypoxic cells did not differ between tumors with high and tumors with low IFP. IFP showed a significant correlation to the fraction of acutely hypoxic cells, probably because both parameters were determined primarily by the microvascular resistance to blood flow. Therefore, the observed association between tumor radiocurability and IFP was most likely an indirect consequence of a strong relationship between IFP and the fraction of acutely hypoxic cells.

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