Christine Ellingsen

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany

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Publications (15)56.2 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Cancer patients with primary tumors showing extensive hypoxia and highly elevated interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) have poor prognosis. The potential of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) in assessing the hypoxic fraction, IFP, and metastatic propensity of tumors was investigated in this study. A-07 and R-18 melanoma xenografts were used as general models of human cancer. DW-MRI was performed at 1.5 T, and maps of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were produced with in-house-made software developed in Matlab. Pimonidazole was used as a hypoxia marker. Tumor cell density and hypoxic fraction were assessed by quantitative analysis of histological sections. IFP was measured with a Millar catheter. Metastatic propensity was determined by examining tumor-bearing mice for pulmonary micrometastases post mortem. ADC decreased with increasing tumor cell density, independent of whether the A-07 and R-18 data were analyzed separately or together. In the A-07 line, ADC decreased with increasing hypoxic fraction and increasing IFP and was lower in metastatic than in nonmetastatic tumors, and in the R-18 line, ADC decreased with increasing hypoxic fraction. There was a strong inverse correlation between ADC and hypoxic fraction as well as between ADC and IFP across the two tumor lines, primarily because low ADC as well as high hypoxic fraction and high IFP were associated with high cell density. Low ADC is a potentially useful biomarker of poor prognosis in cancer, since low ADC is mainly a consequence of high cell density, and high cell density may lead to increased hypoxia and interstitial hypertension and, therefore, increased microenvironment-associated metastasis.
    BMC Cancer 02/2014; 14(1):92. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Locoregional treatment failure and poor survival rates are associated with extensive hypoxia in the primary tumor in advanced cervical carcinoma. The potential of gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA)-based dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) in assessing the hypoxic fraction, radioresponsiveness, and metastatic propensity of cervical carcinomas was investigated in this preclinical study. CK-160 and TS-415 cervical carcinoma xenografts were used as tumor models. DCE-MRI was carried out at 1.5 T, and parametric images of K(trans) and ve were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI series. Pimonidazole was used as a hypoxia marker. Tumor radioresponsiveness was determined by irradiating tumors with five fractions of 4Gy in 48h and measuring cell survival in vitro. Metastatic propensity was determined by examining host mice for tumor growth in lymph nodes. Low values of K(trans) were associated with extensive hypoxia and radiation resistance in tumors of both lines and with high incidence of metastases in CK-160 tumors. Associations between ve and hypoxia, radioresponsiveness, or metastatic propensity were not found in any of the tumor lines. K(trans) is a potentially useful biomarker of tumor hypoxia, radiation resistance, and metastatic growth in advanced cervical carcinoma.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 11/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. A high fraction of stroma in malignant tissues is associated with tumor progression, metastasis, and poor prognosis. Possible correlations between the stromal and physiologic microenvironments of tumors and the potential of dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) and diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in quantification of the stromal microenvironment were investigated in this study. Material and methods. CK-160 cervical carcinoma xenografts were used as preclinical tumor model. A total of 43 tumors were included in the study, and of these tumors, 17 were used to search for correlations between the stromal and physiologic microenvironments, 11 were subjected to DCE-MRI, and 15 were subjected to DW-MRI. DCE-MRI and DW-MRI were carried out at 1.5 T with a clinical MR scanner and a slotted tube resonator transceiver coil constructed for mice. Fraction of connective tissue (CTFCol) and fraction of hypoxic tissue (HFPim) were determined by immunohistochemistry. A Millar SPC 320 catheter was used to measure tumor interstitial fluid pressure (IFP). Results. CTFCol showed a positive correlation to IFP and an inverse correlation to HFPim. The apparent diffusion coefficient assessed by DW-MRI was inversely correlated to CTFCol, whereas no correlation was found between DCE-MRI-derived parameters and CTFCol. Conclusion. DW-MRI is a potentially useful method for characterizing the stromal microenvironment of tumors.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 02/2013; · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Poor disease-free and overall survival rates in locally advanced cervical cancer are associated with a tumor micro-environment characterized by extensive hypoxia, interstitial hypertension, and high lactate concentrations. The potential of gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid-based dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) in assessing the microenvironment and microenvironment-associated aggressiveness of cervical carcinomas was investigated in this preclinical study. CK-160 and TS-415 cervical carcinoma xenografts were used as tumor models. DCE-MRI was carried out at 1.5 T, and parametric images of K (trans) and v e were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI series. Pimonidazole was used as a marker of hypoxia. A Millar catheter was used to measure tumor interstitial fluid pressure (IFP). The concentrations of glucose, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and lactate were measured by induced metabolic bioluminescence imaging. High incidence of lymph node metastases was associated with high hypoxic fraction and high lactate concentration in CK-160 tumors and with high IFP and high lactate concentration in TS-415 tumors. Low K (trans) was associated with high hypoxic fraction, low glucose concentration, and high lactate concentration in tumors of both lines and with high incidence of metastases in CK-160 tumors. Associations between v e and microenvironmental parameters or metastatic propensity were not detected in any of the tumor lines. Taken together, this preclinical study suggests that K (trans) is a potentially useful biomarker for poor outcome of treatment in advanced cervical carcinoma. The possibility that K (trans) may be used to identify patients with cervical cancer who are likely to benefit from particularly aggressive treatment merits thorough clinical investigations.
    Translational oncology 01/2013; 6(5):607-17. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    Tord Hompland, Christine Ellingsen, Einar K Rofstad
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: High interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) in the primary tumor is associated with poor disease-free survival in locally advanced cervical carcinoma. A noninvasive assay is needed to identify cervical cancer patients with highly elevated tumor IFP because these patients may benefit from particularly aggressive treatment. It has been suggested that dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) with gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA) as contrast agent may provide useful information on the IFP of cervical carcinomas. In this preclinical study, we investigated whether DCE-MRI with contrast agents with higher molecular weights (MW) than Gd-DTPA would be superior to Gd-DTPA-based DCE-MRI. METHODS: CK-160 human cervical carcinoma xenografts were subjected to DCE-MRI with Gd-DTPA (MW of 0.55 kDa) or gadomelitol (MW of 6.5 kDa) as contrast agent before tumor IFP was measured invasively with a Millar SPC 320 catheter. The DCE-MRI was carried out at a spatial resolution of 0.23 x 0.23 x 2.0 mm3 and a time resolution of 14 s by using a 1.5-T whole-body scanner and a slotted tube resonator transceiver coil constructed for mice. Parametric images were derived from the DCE-MRI recordings by using the Tofts iso-directional transport model and the Patlak uni-directional transport model. RESULTS: When gadomelitol was used as contrast agent, significant positive correlations were found between the parameters of both pharmacokinetic models and tumor IFP. On the other hand, significant correlations between DCE-MRI-derived parameters and IFP could not be detected with Gd-DTPA as contrast agent. CONCLUSION: Gadomelitol is a superior contrast agent to Gd-DTPA in DCE-MRI of the IFP of CK-160 cervical carcinoma xenografts. Clinical studies attempting to develop DCE-MRI-based assays of the IFP of cervical carcinomas should involve contrast agents with higher MW than Gd-DTPA.
    BMC Cancer 11/2012; 12(1):544. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Cancer patients showing highly elevated interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) in the primary tumor may benefit from particularly aggressive treatment. There is some evidence that gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA)-based dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) may be a useful non-invasive method for providing information on the IFP of tumors. The purpose of this preclinical study was to investigate whether any association between DCE-MRI-derived parametric images and tumor IFP can be strengthened by using MR contrast agents with higher molecular weights than that of Gd-DTPA. Material and methods. A-07 human melanoma xenografts were used as preclinical models of human cancer. Three contrast agents were compared: Gd-DTPA (0.55 kDa), P846 (3.5 kDa), and gadomelitol (6.5 kDa). A total of 46 tumors were subjected to DCE-MRI and subsequent measurement of IFP. Parametric images of K(trans) (the volume transfer constant of the contrast agent) and v(e) (the fractional distribution volume of the contrast agent) were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI series. Results. Significant inverse correlations were found between median K(trans) and IFP for Gd-DTPA (p = 0.0076; R(2) = 0.46; n = 14) and P846 (p = 0.0042; R(2) = 0.45; n = 16), whereas there was no correlation between median K(trans) and IFP for gadomelitol (p > 0.05; n = 16). Significant correlation between median v(e) and IFP was not found for any of the contrast agents (p > 0.05 for Gd-DTPA, P846, and gadomelitol). Conclusion. K(trans) images, but not v(e) images, derived by pharmacokinetic analysis of DCE-MRI data for low-molecular-weight contrast agents may provide information on the IFP of tumors. Any association between K(trans) and IFP cannot be expected to be improved by using contrast agents with higher molecular weights than those of Gd-DTPA and P846.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 11/2012; · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) in tumors can cause metastatic dissemination and treatment resistance, but its study poses a challenge because of a paucity of noninvasive imaging strategies. In this study, we address this issue by reporting the development of a noninvasive tool to assess tumor IFP and interstitial hypertension-induced lymph node metastasis. Using mouse xenograft models of several types of human cancer, we used gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA) as a contrast agent for dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI). Immediately after Gd-DTPA administration, a high-signal-intensity rim was observed in the tumor periphery, which moved outward with time. Assuming the velocity of Gd-DTPA to be equal to the fluid flow velocity, we used a simple model of peritumoral interstitial fluid flow to calculate the fluid flow velocity at the tumor surface (v(0)) based on the rim movement. Significant positive correlations were found between v(0) and IFP in all tumor xenografts. Moreover, the primary tumors of metastasis-positive mice displayed higher IFP and v(0) than the primary tumors of metastasis-negative mice. Findings were confirmed in cervical cancer patients with pelvic lymph node metastases, where we found v(0) to be higher compared with patients without lymph node involvement (P < 0.00001). Together, these findings establish that Gd-DTPA-based DCE-MRI can noninvasively visualize tumor IFP, and they reveal the potential for v(0) determined by this method to serve as a novel general biomarker of tumor aggressiveness. Cancer Res; 72(19); 4899-908. ©2012 AACR.
    Cancer Research 10/2012; 72(19):4899-908. · 8.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background. Gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA)-based dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) has been suggested to be a useful non-invasive method for providing biomarkers for personalized cancer treatment. In this preclinical study, we investigated whether Gd-DTPA-based DCE-MRI may have the potential to differentiate between poorly and highly metastatic tumors. Material and methods. CK-160 cervical carcinoma and V-27 melanoma xenografts were used as tumor models. Fifty-six tumors were imaged, and parametric images of Ktrans (the volume transfer constant of Gd-DTPA) and v(e) (the fractional distribution volume of Gd-DTPA) were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI series. The host mice were examined for lymph node metastases immediately after the DCE-MRI. Results. Highly metastatic tumors showed lower values for median Ktrans than poorly metastatic tumors (p = 0.00033, CK-160; p < 0.00001, V-27). Median v(e) was lower for highly than for poorly metastatic V-27 tumors (p = 0.047), but did not differ significantly between metastatic and non-metastatic CK-160 tumors (p > 0.05). Conclusion. This study supports the clinical attempts to establish DCE-MRI as a method for providing biomarkers for tumor aggressiveness and suggests that tumors showing low K(trans) and low v(e) values may have high probability of lymphogenous metastatic dissemination.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 06/2012; · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA)-based dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) has been suggested as a useful noninvasive method for characterizing the physiologic microenvironment of tumors. In the present study, we investigated whether Gd-DTPA-based DCE-MRI has the potential to provide biomarkers for hypoxia-associated metastatic dissemination. C-10 and D-12 melanoma xenografts were used as experimental tumor models. Pimonidazole was used as a hypoxia marker. A total of 60 tumors were imaged, and parametric images of K(trans) (volume transfer constant of Gd-DTPA) and v(e) (fractional distribution volume of Gd-DTPA) were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI series. The host mice were killed immediately after DCE-MRI, and the primary tumor and the lungs were resected and prepared for histologic assessment of the fraction of pimonidazole-positive hypoxic tissue and the presence of lung metastases, respectively. Metastases were found in 11 of 26 mice with C-10 tumors and 14 of 34 mice with D-12 tumors. The primary tumors of the metastatic-positive mice had a greater fraction of hypoxic tissue (p = 0.00031, C-10; p < 0.00001, D-12), a lower median K(trans) (p = 0.0011, C-10; p < 0.00001, D-12), and a lower median v(e) (p = 0.014, C-10; p = 0.016, D-12) than the primary tumors of the metastatic-negative mice. These findings support the clinical attempts to establish DCE-MRI as a method for providing biomarkers for tumor aggressiveness and suggests that primary tumors characterized by low K(trans) and low v(e) values could have a high probability of hypoxia-associated metastatic spread.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 02/2012; 83(1):e121-7. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prognosis is particularly poor for patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix when the primary tumor has developed severe physiological abnormalities. The impact of the physiological microenvironment of the primary tumor on lymph node metastasis was investigated in this preclinical study. Xenografted tumors of two human cervical carcinoma lines (CK-160 and TS-415) transplanted into BALB/c nu/nu mice were included in the study. The fraction of radiobiologically hypoxic cells (HF(Rad)), interstitial fluid pressure (IFP), and extracellular pH (pH(e)) were measured in 22 CK-160 tumors and 16 TS-415 tumors and related to the metastatic status of the host mice. In CK-160, HF(Rad) was significantly higher in the metastatic than in the nonmetastatic tumors, whereas the metastatic and nonmetastatic tumors did not differ significantly in IFP or pH(e). In TS-415, IFP was significantly higher in the tumors that metastasized than in those that did not metastasize, whereas the tumors of the metastasis-positive and metastasis-negative mice did not differ significantly in HF(Rad) or pH(e). Lymph node metastasis is associated with abnormalities in the physiological microenvironment of the primary tumor in cervical carcinoma xenografts, and tumor line-specific mechanisms are probably involved.
    Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 01/2012; 51(4):465-72. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Blood perfusion in tumors is spatially and temporally heterogeneous, resulting in local fluctuations in tissue oxygen tension (pO(2)) and tissue regions showing cycling hypoxia. In this study, we investigated whether the pO(2) fluctuation pattern and the extent of cycling hypoxia differ between tumor types showing high (e.g., cervical carcinoma xenograft) and low (e.g., melanoma xenograft) fractions of connective tissue-associated blood vessels. Two cervical carcinoma lines (CK-160 and TS-415) and two melanoma lines (A-07 and R-18) transplanted into BALB/c nu/nu mice were included in the study. Tissue pO(2) was measured simultaneously in two positions in each tumor by using a two-channel OxyLite fiber-optic oxygen-sensing device. The extent of acute and chronic hypoxia was assessed by combining a radiobiological and a pimonidazole-based immunohistochemical assay of tumor hypoxia. The proportion of tumor regions showing pO(2) fluctuations, the pO(2) fluctuation frequency in these regions, and the relative amplitude of the pO(2) fluctuations were significantly higher in the melanoma xenografts than in the cervical carcinoma xenografts. Cervical carcinoma and melanoma xenografts did not differ significantly in the fraction of acutely hypoxic cells or the fraction of chronically hypoxic cells. However, the ratio between fraction of acutely hypoxic cells and fraction of chronically hypoxic cells was significantly higher in melanoma than in cervical carcinoma xenografts. Temporal heterogeneity in blood flow and tissue pO(2) in tumors may depend on tumor histology. Connective tissue surrounding microvessels may stabilize blood flow and pO(2) and, thus, protect tumor tissue from cycling hypoxia.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 01/2012; 83(4):1317-23. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biomarkers that can predict the outcome of treatment accurately are needed for treatment individualization in advanced carcinoma of the uterine cervix. The potential of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) was investigated in the present preclinical study. CK-160 and TS-415 human cervical carcinoma xenografts were subjected to DCE-MRI at 1.5T using a spatial resolution of 0.23×0.47×2.0mm(3). Parametric images of K(trans) (the volume transfer constant of Gd-DTPA) and v(e) (the extravascular extracellular volume fraction) were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI data and compared with the histomorphology of the imaged tissue. Analysis of small homogeneous tumor regions showed that K(trans), but not v(e), differed significantly between parenchymal tissue, connective tissue, and necrotic tissue, consistent with the vascularity of these compartments. However, strong correlations between K(trans) and the fractional volume of the compartments could not be detected for larger tumor regions, primarily because the majority of the voxels represented a chaotic mixture of parenchymal, connective, and necrotic tissue. The potential of DCE-MRI in providing detailed information on the histomorphology of cervical carcinoma is limited, mainly because the tumor tissue shows significant morphological heterogeneity at the subvoxel level.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 11/2010; 97(2):217-24. · 4.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) has been suggested to be a valuable method for characterizing the physiological microenvironment of tumors and thus a promising method for individualizing cancer treatment. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that valid parametric images of the tumor microenvironment can be obtained by pharmacokinetic analysis of DCE-MRI series. Cells of four human melanoma xenograft lines (A-07, D-12, R-18 and T-22) were used as preclinical models of human cancer. DCE-MRI was performed at 1.5 T at a spatial resolution of 0.23 x 0.47 x 2.0 mm(3) and a time resolution of 14 s. Gadolinium diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (Gd-DTPA) was used as contrast agent. The DCE-MRI data were analyzed on a voxel-by-voxel basis by using a pharmacokinetic model recommended for analysis of clinical DCE-MRI series. Parametric DCE-MR images were compared with tumor blood perfusion measured by the (86)Rb uptake method, and fractional volume of the extravascular extracellular space assessed by analysis of histological preparations. Parametric images reflecting tumor blood perfusion and fractional volume of the extravascular extracellular space were obtained. The numerical values of the DCE-MRI-derived parameters were not significantly different from the absolute values of tumor blood perfusion or fractional volume of the extravascular extracellular space in any of the tumor lines. This study shows that DCE-MRI can provide valid quantitative parametric images of the tumor microenvironment in preclinical cancer models and thus supports the suggestion that DCE-MRI may be developed to be a clinically useful method for individualization of microenvironment-based cancer treatment, a possibility that merits increased clinical interest.
    Radiation Research 10/2009; 172(3):339-47. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with advanced cervical cancer and highly hypoxic primary tumors show increased frequency of locoregional treatment failure and poor disease-free and overall survival rates. The potential usefulness of gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA)-based dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) in assessing tumor hypoxia noninvasively was investigated in the present preclinical study. CK-160 and TS-415 human cervical carcinoma xenografts transplanted intramuscularly (i.m.) or subcutaneously (s.c.) in BALB/c nu/nu mice were subjected to DCE-MRI and measurement of fraction of radiobiologically hypoxic cells. Tumor images of K(trans) (the volume transfer constant of Gd-DTPA) and v(e) (the extracellular volume fraction of the imaged tissue) were produced by pharmacokinetic analysis of the DCE-MRI data. Fraction of radiobiologically hypoxic cells was measured by using the paired survival curve method. Fraction of radiobiologically hypoxic cells differed significantly among the four tumor groups. The mean values +/- SE were determined to be 44% +/- 7% (i.m. CK-160), 77% +/- 10% (s.c. CK-160), 23% +/- 5% (i.m. TS-415), and 52% +/- 6% (s.c. TS-415). The four tumor groups differed significantly also in K(trans), and there was an unambiguous inverse relationship between K(trans) and fraction of radiobiologically hypoxic cells. On the other hand, significant differences among the groups in v(e) could not be detected. The study supports the clinical development of DCE-MRI as a method for assessing the extent of hypoxia in carcinoma of the cervix.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 04/2009; 73(3):838-45. · 4.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To establish and characterize experimental tumor models of advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Permanent cell lines (CK-160 and TS-415) were established from pelvic lymph node metastases of two cervical carcinoma patients. Xenografted tumors were initiated by inoculating 5 x 10(5) cells into the gastrocnemius muscle of BALB/c nu/nu mice. The tumors were characterized with respect to histological appearance, fraction of necrotic tissue (NF), pimonidazole hypoxic fraction (HF(Pim)), interstitial fluid pressure (IFP), extracellular pH (pH(e)), metastatic propensity, and radiation sensitivity. The xenografted tumors reflected the donor patients' tumors in histological appearance, metastatic propensity, and radiation sensitivity and showed significant intertumor heterogeneity in growth rate, NF, HF(Pim), IFP, and pH(e). CK-160 and TS-415 xenografts possess properties making them relevant models for studies of the physiological microenvironment of cervical carcinoma and its influence on metastatic dissemination and response to treatment.
    Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 03/2009; 135(9):1177-84. · 2.91 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

87 Citations
56.20 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
      • Institut für Physiologie und Pathophysiologie
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
  • 2010–2013
    • Oslo University Hospital
      • Institute for Cancer Research
      Oslo, Oslo, Norway