Quantitative Hypoxia Imaging for Treatment Planning of Radiotherapy
Tumour oxygenation is an important determinant of radiotherapy outcome as it could modulate cellular radiation sensitivity. Advanced PET imaging able to characterise this microenvironmental aspect in vivo might be used to devise counteracting therapies as it could provide information on the severity and the spatial distribution of the hypoxic regions. This study reviews the advantages and limitations of PET for imaging and quantifying tumour hypoxia and proposes a novel approach to obtain absolute levels of hypoxia from PET images through the use of EPR oximetry. This would offer a significant advantage over proposals based on empirical conversions of the intensities in the PET images to relative radiosensitivities. Thus, tumour hypoxia must be taken into account at the stage of treatment planning for photons and particle therapy by accounting for its extent and severity through the use of PET imaging combined with absolute EPR measurements.
KeywordsTumour hypoxia Oxygenation PET imaging Treatment planning Treatment optimization
Financial support from the Cancer Research Funds of Radiumhemmet, Stockholm and the LiU Cancer research network at Linköping University and the County Council of Östergötland (Sweden) is gratefully acknowledged.