In-vivo visualization of tumor microvessel density and response to anti-angiogenic treatment by high resolution MRI in mice.
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Inhibition of angiogenesis has shown clinical success in patients with cancer. Thus, imaging approaches that allow for the identification of angiogenic tumors and the detection of response to anti-angiogenic treatment are of high clinical relevance.We established an in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) approach that allows us to simultaneously image tumor microvessel density and tumor vessel size in a NSCLC model in mice.Using microvessel density imaging we demonstrated an increase in microvessel density within 8 days after tumor implantation, while tumor vessel size decreased indicating a switch from macro- to microvessels during tumor growth. Moreover, we could monitor in vivo inhibition of angiogenesis induced by the angiogenesis inhibitor PTK787, resulting in a decrease of microvessel density and a slight increase in tumor vessel size.We present an in vivo imaging approach that allows us to monitor both tumor microvessel density and tumor vessel size in the tumor. Moreover, this approach enables us to assess, early-on, treatment effects on tumor microvessel density as well as on tumor vessel size. Thus, this imaging-based strategy of validating anti-angiogenic treatment effects has high potential in applications to preclinical and clinical trials.