July 2, 2019 – Blood Flow in Tumors


Anchor lead: Understanding blood flow in a tumor may be critical to treating the cancer, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Everything in your body needs blood to survive, and so do tumors. Interrupting their blood supply has been a target for years, and now a new mapping system developed by Arvind Pathek, an imaging expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, may help.

Pathek: The blood vessels play a very important role in cancer progression and we want to understand how changes in oxygenation, blood flow, etcetera, affect how cancer is going to behave over the long term. In the past what people have done is that they have used very simple constructs or approximations of the blood vessels in the tumor. What we did was we used the tumor’s real blood vessels, and then we modeled what the flow would be through these large blood vessels, so we kind of created maps of the blood flow in an entire tumor, in a Google maps type of approach.  :28

Pathek says such maps are constructed individually, as every person’s tumor and blood flow are unique. The hope is that maps can be used to plan therapeutic approaches as well as assess their success. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.