Description: Up-regulated glucose metabolism, upon hypoxia-induced shift toward glycolysis, leads to enhanced acidification of the extracellular pH (pHe) to values in the range 6.5-7.0, which is a salient feature of the tumor microenvironment. This highlights the necessary to not only measure extracellular tumor pH for tumor characterization, but also to quantitatively assess pH heterogeneity. We have developed MRI-based pH responsive contrast agents based on clinical approved X-ray contrast agents that provide accurate pH measurements. Moreover, the superb spatial resolution offered by MRI allows quantifying tumor pH heterogeneity. The development of such methods can be exploited to assess in vivo tumor pHe related changes following therapeutic treatment with new anticancer drugs that inhibits tumor pH regulators.
The project has been funded by AIRC (MFAG 2017 #20153)
extracellular tumor pH map in a breast tumor murine model
Selected papers: “Non-invasive Investigation of Tumor Metabolism and Acidosis by MRI-CEST Imaging” Lorena Consolino, Annasofia Anemone, Martina Capozza, Antonella Carella, Pietro Irrera, Alessia Corrado, Chetan Dhakan, Martina Bracesco, Dario Livio Longo. Frontiers in Oncology, 2020, 10, 161
“Imaging tumor acidosis: a survey of the available techniques for mapping in vivo tumor pH” Anemone A, Consolino L, Arena F, Capozza M, Longo DL. Cancer Metastasis Review 2019, 38, 25-49