Researchers from the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center have developed a technique to directly measure oxygen in deep-sited tumors.

Dartmouth’s Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) team created implantable resonators made of thin nonmagnetic copper wire to facilitate direct and repeated measurement of tissue oxygenation at any depth from the surface.

In their most recent experiment, which demonstrated the efficacy of in vivo EPR oximetry, the team used a one-time implementation of the oxygen probes in the brain of a rabbit and successfully monitored oxygen levels for several weeks.

The investigators conclude that real-time monitoring of tissue oxygenation using implantable resonators will be a powerful tool in stroke and cancer research. In clinics, physicians will ultimately use the measurement of oxygen in tumors, or the brain, to guide decisions about best times for therapy.

Development of "oxygen-guided" protocols to improve treatment outcome in patients will continue with the EPR team’s latest National Cancer Institute funded multi-million dollar study, which will begin in March 2015.