(HealthDay News) – The interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) of solid tumors, as measured using a new noninvasive, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method, may be useful as a novel potential biomarker for tumor aggressiveness and lymph node metastasis, according to a study published in the Oct 1 issue of Cancer Research.

Noting that elevated IFP may cause metastatic dissemination and resistance to treatment, Tord Hompland, of the Oslo University Hospital in Norway, and colleagues used mouse xenograft models of several types of human cancer to validate the use of gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA) as a contrast agent for dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) for measuring the IFP of solid tumors.

The researchers found that, in all tumor xenografts, there were significant positive correlations between the fluid flow velocity at the tumor surface (v0) and IFP. Higher IFP and v0 were seen in the primary tumors of metastasis-positive mice compared with the primary tumors of metastasis-negative mice. These findings were confirmed in patients with cervical cancer. The v0 was higher in patients with pelvic lymph node metastases than those without lymph node involvement.

“These observations suggest that high IFP in tumors may promote lymph node metastasis and that Gd-DTPA-based DCE-MRI may provide valid information on the IFP of tumors,” Hompland and colleagues conclude.

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