Jordan, B. F., Christian, N., Crokart, N., Grégoire, V., Feron, O. and Gallez, B. Thyroid Status is a Key Modulator of Tumor Oxygenation: Implication for Radiation Therapy. Radiat. Res. 168, 428–432 (2007).
In normal tissues, thyroid hormones play a major role in the metabolic activity and oxygen consumption of cells. Because the rate of oxygen consumption is a key factor in the response of tumors to radiation, we hypothesized that thyroid hormones may affect the metabolic activity of tumor cells and hence modulate the response to cytotoxic treatments. We measured the influence of thyroid status on the tumor microenvironment in experimental tumors. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism were generated in mice by chronic treatment with propyl thiouracil and l-thyroxine. Thyroid status significantly modified tumor pO2 as measured with EPR oximetry. Mechanistically, this was the result of the profound changes in oxygen consumption rates. Thyroid status was associated with a significant change in tumor radiosensitivity since the regrowth delay was increased in hypothyroid mice compared to euthyroid mice, an effect that was abolished when temporarily clamped tumors were irradiated. This study provides unique insights into the impact of modulating tumor oxygen consumption and could have implications in the management of cancer patients with thyroid disorders.