To assess the relationship between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and pathologic measures of a tumor using a prostate cancer xenograft model.
Materials and Methods
Eighteen athymic nude mice with 36 PC-3-induced tumors were sacrificed to obtain specimens immediately after MR imaging in order to compare the findings on MR images with those seen on pathological specimens. Using a high-field small-animal MR scanner, T1- and T2-weighted imaging and DW MR imaging was performed. Tumors were then processed for Hematoxylin and Eosin staining to evaluate tumor cellularity, intratumoral necrosis and immunostaining using antibodies directed against CD31 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to determine the levels of microvessel density (MVD). Mean ADC values that were measured on the solid portion within each tumor were compared with tumor volume, cellularity, degree of necrosis, VEGF expression, and MVD in the corresponding section of the pathological specimen.
Mean ADC values of the solid portion within the PC-3-induced high-grade tumors were significantly correlated with the degree of intratumoral necrosis (r = 0.63, p < 0.0001) and MVD (r = -0.44, p = 0.008) on pathologic slides. The ADC values were not significantly correlated with tumor cellularity, VEGF expression, or tumor volume in high-grade prostate cancer tissues.
In the xenografted prostate cancer model, the ADC values of the solid portion of the tumors are significantly correlated with tumor necrosis and MVD of the pathologic specimens. The ADC values may be utilized as surrogate markers for the noninvasive assessment of tumor necrosis and MVD in high-grade prostate cancer.