12th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Aug 30 - Sept 1, 2021
|PoC - Physics of Cancer - Annual Symposium|
Tissue Stiffness and Fluidity as Tumor Markers with Predictive Potential
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Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and its related applications have become an indispensable field of research in analytical and medical imaging. MR Elastography (MRE) probes viscoelastic properties deep inside bulk tissues resolving tissue stiffness and fluidity. While small sample Tabletop MRE sacrifices spatial for frequency resolved resolution, state of the art clinical MRE, so called Tomoelastography goes the other way round by creating maps (Elastograms) of these parameters. An analysis of several in vivo studies shows, that Tomoelastography is not only able to differentiate individual tumors from their surrounding tissues by their rheological signature but also reveals entity overlapping trends towards tissue stiffening and especially fluidization. As these Elastograms depict biophysical and mechanical properties, they are intrinsically sensitive to micro- or macroscopic tissue alterations associated with tumor progression. Backed by the data from these studies, a gedankenexperiment was performed if and how a specific tumor entity can grow and eventually metastasize in its specific environment and how this should be reflected in its mechanical properties. Based on the MRE obtainable parameters of tissue stiffness and fluidity, the spatial fluidity heterogeneity as well as the border texture between tumor and surrounding tissue we propose a roadmap towards a novel biophysical tumor marker with predictive potential for individual patients.