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Blood-flow metabolism mismatch predicts pancreatic tumor aggressiveness
Date:8/25/2009

PHILADELPHIA Researchers from Turku, Finland, have identified a blood-flow glucose consumption mismatch that predicted pancreatic tumor aggressiveness, according to results of a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Based on these findings, they suggested that the relationship between several physiological tumor parameters might provide more important information about a tumor than just looking at any of these parameters alone.

Gaber Komar, M.D., research fellow at the Turku PET Center, and colleagues investigated the importance of two physiological parameters in the tumor microenvironment among patients with pancreatic tumors to evaluate tumor aggressiveness. The parameters measured were blood flow in the tumor tissue and glucose consumption, which could be seen as a measurement of general metabolic activity of a tissue.

"Imaging of several of these tumor parameters might be important for the planning and success of oncologic therapies," Komar said. "We believe that a better understanding of these mechanisms may help overcome the general treatment resistance of pancreatic cancer."

The researchers used positron emission tomography (PET), a nuclear medicine imaging technique that provides a three-dimensional image of a bodily process, to measure blood flow and glucose consumption in 26 patients with pancreatic cancer. A PET scan is most often used to detect cancer and is also used to evaluate cancer response. It is emerging as a tool for pre-therapy evaluation of tumors and allows researchers to study and quantify tumor characteristics while the tumor is still in the body.

Results showed that patients with benign (n=8) and malignant (n=11) tumors had decreased blood flow of the lesion by 48 percent and 60 percent compared to patients with normal pancreatic tissue (n=7). These findings may help explain the lack of success some patients experienc
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Contact: Tara Yates
tara.yates@aacr.org
267-646-0558
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert  

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