Research Articles

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TOMOGRAPHY, March 2016, Volume 2, Issue 1: 35-42
DOI: 10.18383/j.tom.2016.00106

Non-invasive differentiation of benign renal tumors from clear cell renal cell carcinomas using clinically translatable hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate magnetic resonance

Renuka Sriram1, Mark Van Criekinge1, Justin DeLos Santos1, Kayvan R. Keshari2, David M. Wilson1, Donna Peehl3, John Kurhanewicz1, and Zhen J. Wang1

1Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; 2Radiology and Molecular Pharmacology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York; and 3Department of Urology, Stanford University, Stanford, California


Incidental detection of localized renal tumors at imaging is increasing. Conventional imaging cannot reliably differentiate the 20% of these tumors that are benign from malignant renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), leading to unnecessary surgical resection and resulting morbidity. Here, we investigated hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate metabolism in live patient-derived renal tumor tissue slices using a novel magnetic resonance-compatible bioreactor platform. We show, for the first time, that clear cell RCCs (ccRCCs), which constitute 70%–80% of all RCCs, exhibit increased lactate production and rapid lactate efflux when compared with benign renal tumors. This difference is because of increased lactate dehydrogenase A and monocarboxylate transporter 4 expression in ccRCCs. Thus, RCCs can be differentiated from benign renal tumors by assessing this distinctive metabolic phenotype using clinically translatable hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate magnetic resonance.


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