Oxygen Distribution in Tumours: Influence on Cell Proliferation and Implications for Tumour Therapy

  • Ian Tannock
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 75)


Tumour cell proliferation, and the response of individual tumour cells to various types of therapy, are dependent on the local concentration of oxygen and other metabolites. The existence of severely hypoxic but viable cells in solid tumours has been well established in experiments assaying tumour response to radiation: thus the p02 in viable regions of tumours varies from close to zero to its value in blood. In most tumours the relationship between capillaries, tumour cells and necrotic tissue is complex. However, in some human and animal tumours, cylindrial cords of tumour cells with a central capillary and peripheral necrosis have been observed (Fig. 1); cords with peripheral stroma and central necrosis may co-exist in the same tumour (1–4). Tumours with this rather simple morphology may be used to study relationships between cellular kinetics and the concentration of metabolites or drugs that diffuse from blood vessels.


Tumour Cell Proliferation Necrotic Tissue Tritiated Thymidine Oxygen Distribution Viable Region 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Tannock
    • 1
  1. 1.Toronto General HospitalTorontoCanada

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