Applications of magnetic resonance in model systems: Tumor biology and physiology

Robert J. Gillies, Zaver M. Bhujwalla, Jeffrey Evelhoch, Michael Garwood, Michal Neeman, Simon P. Robinson, Christopher H. Sotak, Boudewijn Van Der Sanden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


A solid tumor presents a unique challenge as a system in which the dynamics of the relationship between vascularization, the physiological environment and metabolism are continually changing with growth and following treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies have demonstrated quantifiable linkages between the physiological environment, angiogenesis, vascularization and metabolism of tumors. The dynamics between these parameters continually change with tumor aggressiveness, tumor growth and during therapy and each of these can be monitored longitudinally, quantitatively and non-invasively with MRI and MRS. An important aspect of MRI and MRS studies is that techniques and findings are easily translated between systems. Hence, pre-clinical studies using cultured cells or experimental animals have a high connectivity to potential clinical utility. In the following review, leaders in the field of MR studies of basic tumor physiology using pre-clinical models have contributed individual sections according to their expertise and outlook. The following review is a cogent and timely overview of the current capabilities and state-of-the-art of MRI and MRS as applied to experimental cancers. A companion review deals with the application of MR methods to anticancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Address all correspondence to: Robert J. Gillies, Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, AZ 85724-5024. E-mail: 1This study was supported by PHS grants CA77575 (R.J.G.), CA83041 (R.J.G.), CA73850 (Z.B.), CA82337 (Z.B.), CA75334 (M.N.), CA64338 (M.G.) and RR08079 (M.G.); grants from the Flinn (R.J.G.), Komen (Z.B.), Whitaker (C.H.S.) and Keck (M.G.) Foundations; grant DAMD17-96-1-6131 from the US Army MRMC (Z.B.); grants from the Dutch Cancer Society (B.v.S.); and grant [SP1971/0703] from the CancerResearchCampaign,UK (S.R.). Received 16 September 1999; Accepted 13 October 1999.


  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Tumor Metabolism
  • Tumor Oxygenation
  • Tumor Perfusion
  • Tumor pH


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