Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 535 - 546 (2011)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.103229jm
© UPV/EHU Press

Tumor blood vessel visualization

Jeannine Missbach-Guentner*,1,2, Julia Hunia2 and Frauke Alves2,3

1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University Medical Center, 2Department of Hematology and Oncology, University Medical Center and 3Max-Planck-Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany

ABSTRACT Significant advances have been made in understanding the role of tumor angiogenesis and its influence on tumor progression in cancer. Based on this knowledge, a series of inhibitors of angiogenesis have been developed and evaluated in preclinical and clinical trials. Since detailed information of tumor progression in response to therapy is important to assess the efficacy of anti-tumor treatment in vivo, noninvasive imaging techniques emerge more and more as important tools to monitor alterations in tumor growth and vessel recruitment, as well as metastatic spread over time. So far, remarkable efforts have been made to improve the technical capability of these imaging modalities based on better resolution, as well as to implement multimodal approaches combining molecular with anatomical information. Advanced imaging techniques not only allow the detection and monitoring of tumor development, but also facilitate a broad understanding of the cellular and molecular events that propagate tumor angiogenesis, as well as those occurring in response to therapy. This review provides an overview of different imaging techniques in preclinical settings of oncological research and discusses their potential impact on clinical translation. Imaging modalities will be presented that have been implemented to address key biological issues by exploring tumor angiogenic processes and evaluating antiangiogenic therapy.

Keywords:

noninvasive imaging technique, angiogenesis inhibitor, tumor monitoring, antiangiogenic therapy, animal models

*Corresponding author e-mail: j.missbach@med.uni-goettingen.de