Non-invasive monitoring of hemodynamic tumor responses to chemotherapy could provide unique insights into the development of therapeutic resistance and inform therapeutic decision-making in the clinic.
Methods: Here, we examined the longitudinal and dynamic effects of the common chemotherapeutic drug Taxotere on breast tumor (KPL-4) blood volume and oxygen saturation using eigenspectra multispectral optoacoustic tomography (eMSOT) imaging over a period of 41 days. Tumor vascular function was assessed by dynamic oxygen-enhanced eMSOT (OE-eMSOT). The obtained in vivo optoacoustic data were thoroughly validated by ex vivo cryoimaging and immunohistochemical staining against markers of vascularity and hypoxia.
Results: We provide the first preclinical evidence that prolonged treatment with Taxotere causes a significant drop in mean whole tumor oxygenation. Furthermore, application of OE-eMSOT showed a diminished vascular response in Taxotere-treated tumors and revealed the presence of static blood pools, indicating increased vascular permeability.
Conclusion: Our work has important translational implications and supports the feasibility of eMSOT imaging for non-invasive assessment of tumor microenvironmental responses to chemotherapy.

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