In vivo imaging of glucose uptake and metabolism in tumors

Simon Walker-Samuel, Rajiv Ramasawmy, Francisco Torrealdea, Marilena Rega, Vineeth Rajkumar, S. Peter Johnson, Simon Richardson, Miguel Gonçalves, Harold G. Parkes, Erik Årstad, David L. Thomas, R. Barbara Pedley, Mark F. Lythgoe, Xavier Golay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

290 Scopus citations


Tumors have a greater reliance on anaerobic glycolysis for energy production than normal tissues. We developed a noninvasive method for imaging glucose uptake in vivo that is based on magnetic resonance imaging and allows the uptake of unlabeled glucose to be measured through the chemical exchange of protons between hydroxyl groups and water. This method differs from existing molecular imaging methods because it permits detection of the delivery and uptake of a metabolically active compound in physiological quantities. We show that our technique, named glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer (glucoCEST), is sensitive to tumor glucose accumulation in colorectal tumor models and can distinguish tumor types with differing metabolic characteristics and pathophysiologies. The results of this study suggest that glucoCEST has potential as a useful and cost-effective method for characterizing disease and assessing response to therapy in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1072
Number of pages6
JournalNature medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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