Spatiotemporal imaging of redox status using in vivo dynamic nuclear polarization magnetic resonance imaging system for early monitoring of response to radiation treatment of tumor
In general, the effectiveness of radiation treatment is evaluated through the observation of morphological changes with computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images after treatment. However, the evaluation of the treatment effects can be very time consuming, and thus can delay the verification of patient cases where treatment has not been fully effective. It is known that the treatment efficacy depends on redox modulation in tumor tissues, which is an indirect effect of oxidizing redox molecules such as hydroxyl radicals and of reactive oxygen species generated by radiation treatment. In vivo dynamic nuclear polarization-MRI (DNP-MRI) using carbamoyl-PROXYL(CmP) as a redox sensitive DNP probe enables the accurate monitoring of the anatomical distribution of free radicals based on interactions of electrons and nuclear spin, known as Overhauser effect. However, spatiotemporal response of the redox status in tumor tissues post-irradiation remains unknown. In this study, we demonstrate the usefulness of spatiotemporal redox status as an early imaging biomarker of tumor response after irradiation using in vivo DNP-MRI. Our results highlight that in vivo DNP-MRI/CmP allowed us to visualize the tumor redox status responses significantly faster and earlier compared to the verification of morphological changes observed with 1.5 T MRI and cancer metabolism (Warburg effect) obtained by hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate MRS. Our findings suggest that the early assessment of redox status alterations with in vivo DNP-MRI/CmP probe may provide very efficient information regarding the effectiveness of the subsequent radiation treatment.