Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Reveals Stress-Induced Angiogenesis in MCF7 Human Breast Tumors
The mechanism of contrast enhancement of tumors using magnetic resonance imaging was investigated in MCF7 human breast cancer implanted in nude mice. Dynamic contrast-enhanced images recorded at high spatial resolution were analyzed by an image analysis method based on a physiological model, which included the blood circulation, the tumor, the remaining tissues, and clearance via the kidneys. This analysis enabled us to map in rapidly enhancing regions within the tumor, the capillary permeability factor (capillary permeability times surface area per voxel volume) and the fraction of leakage space. Correlation of these maps with T2-weighted spin echo images, with histopathology, and with immunohistochemical staining of endothelial cells demonstrated the presence of dense permeable microcapillaries in the tumor periphery and in intratumoral regions that surrounded necrotic loci. The high leakage from the intratumoral permeable capillaries indicated an induction of a specific angiogenic process associated with stress conditions that cause necrosis. This induction was augmented in tumors responding to tamoxifen treatment. Determination of the distribution and extent of this stress-induced angiogenic activity by contrast-enhanced MRI might be of diagnostic and of prognostic value.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
- Pub Date:
- June 1996