In vivo noninvasive preclinical tumor hypoxia imaging methods: a review

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Tumors exhibit areas of decreased oxygenation due to malformed blood vessels. This low oxygen concentration decreases the effectiveness of radiation therapy, and the resulting poor perfusion can prevent drugs from reaching areas of the tumor. Tumor hypoxia is associated with poorer prognosis and disease progression, and is therefore of interest to preclinical researchers. Although there are multiple different ways to measure tumor hypoxia and related factors, there is no standard for quantifying spatial and temporal tumor hypoxia distributions in preclinical research or in the clinic. This review compares imaging methods utilized for the purpose of assessing spatio-temporal patterns of hypoxia in the preclinical setting. Imaging methods provide varying levels of spatial and temporal resolution regarding different aspects of hypoxia, and with varying advantages and disadvantages. The choice of modality requires consideration of the specific experimental model, the nature of the required characterization and the availability of complementary modalities as well as immunohistochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-631
Number of pages39
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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