Metabolic Tumor Microenvironment Characterization of Contrast Enhancing Brain Tumors Using Physiologic MRI

Andreas Stadlbauer, Franz Marhold, Stefan Oberndorfer, Gertraud Heinz, Max Zimmermann, Michael Buchfelder, Elisabeth Heynold, Thomas M Kinfe

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The tumor microenvironment is a critical regulator of cancer development and progression as well as treatment response and resistance in brain neoplasms. The available techniques for investigation, however, are not well suited for noninvasive in vivo characterization in humans. A total of 120 patients (59 females; 61 males) with newly diagnosed contrast-enhancing brain tumors (64 glioblastoma, 20 brain metastases, 15 primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas (PCNSLs), and 21 meningiomas) were examined with a previously established physiological MRI protocol including quantitative blood-oxygen-level-dependent imaging and vascular architecture mapping. Six MRI biomarker maps for oxygen metabolism and neovascularization were fused for classification of five different tumor microenvironments: glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), hypoxia with/without neovascularization, and necrosis. Glioblastoma showed the highest metabolic heterogeneity followed by brain metastasis with a glycolysis-to-OxPhos ratio of approximately 2:1 in both tumor entities. In addition, glioblastoma revealed a significant higher percentage of hypoxia (24%) compared to all three other brain tumor entities: brain metastasis (7%; p < 0.001), PCNSL (8%; p = 0.001), and meningioma (8%; p = 0.003). A more aggressive biological brain tumor behavior was associated with a higher percentage of hypoxia and necrosis and a lower percentage of remaining vital tumor tissue and aerobic glycolysis. The proportion of oxidative phosphorylation, however, was rather similar (17-26%) for all four brain tumor entities. Tumor microenvironment (TME) mapping provides insights into neurobiological differences of contrast-enhancing brain tumors and deserves further clinical cancer research attention. Although there is a long roadmap ahead, TME mapping may become useful in order to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number668
JournalMetabolites
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

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