Potential role of the glycolytic oscillator in acute hypoxia in tumors

Leonard Che Fru, Erin B. Adamson, David D. Campos, Sean B. Fain, Steven L. Jacques, Albert J. Van Der Kogel, Kwang P. Nickel, Chihwa Song, Randall J. Kimple, Michael W. Kissick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Tumor acute hypoxia has a dynamic component that is also, at least partially, coherent. Using blood oxygen level dependent magnetic resonance imaging, we observed coherent oscillations in hemoglobin saturation dynamics in cell line xenograft models of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. We posit a well-established biochemical nonlinear oscillatory mechanism called the glycolytic oscillator as a potential cause of the coherent oscillations in tumors. These data suggest that metabolic changes within individual tumor cells may affect the local tumor microenvironment including oxygen availability and therefore radiosensitivity. These individual cells can synchronize the oscillations in patches of similar intermediate glucose levels. These alterations have potentially important implications for radiation therapy and are a potential target for optimizing the cancer response to radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9215-9225
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 17 2015


  • BOLD
  • MRI
  • acute hypoxia
  • glycolytic oscillator
  • radiation
  • radiosensitivity
  • tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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