Most solid tumours exhibit areas of both chronic and acute hypoxia, all of them evolving dynamically as a function of cellular growth, vascularisation, oxygen consuming metabolism and therapy response. Tumour hypoxia, generally far below 1% oxygen, correlates with increased recurrence rates and decreased survival rates in most cancers, so the recent review by Hypoxystation users Rey et al. describing “Molecular Targeting of Hypoxia in Radiotherapy” gives a valuable overview of the mechanisms cancer cells have developed to respond to hypoxia.
Dr. Rey of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada, and his co-authors Luana Schito, Marianne Koritzinsky and Brad Wouters have contributed vastly to our knowledge about the cellular response to hypoxia in the context of tumour behavior. Since 2009, they have acquired four Hypoxystations for their lab, in order to culture cells under conditions which authentically mimic the physiological environment of cancer. The Hypoxystation provides a closed workstation format for rigorous control of oxygen, CO2, temperature and humidity, facilitating accurate regulation of cell culture conditions as the in vivo tumour situation is simulated.
In their 2016 review, Rey et al. describe the cellular response to the complex interplay of temporal and spatial variations in oxygen levels, and the rippling effects exerted on vascular, stromal and immunological responses.
By Burga Kalz Fuller, HypOxygen