It was established through in vivo T1 measurements at low magnetic fields that tumour cells display proton T1 values that are markedly longer than those shown by healthy tissue. Moreover, it has been found that the elongation of T1 parallels the aggressiveness of the investigated tumour. The T1 lengthening is associated with an enhanced water exchange rate across the transcytolemmal membrane through an overexpression/upregulation of GLUT1 and Na+/K+ ATPase transporters. It follows that the intracellular water lifetime represents a hallmark of tumour cells that can be easily monitored by measuring T1 at different magnetic field strengths ranging from 0.2 to 200 mT.
Bibliographical noteThis project has received funding from the European UnionQs Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 668119 (project “IDentIFY”), and it was performed in the framework of the Consorzio CIRCMSB and
of COST Action AC15209 (EURELAX)
- intracellular water lifetime
- magnetic resonance imaging
- tumor detection