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Non-Invasive Differentiation of Benign Renal Tumors from Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinomas Using Clinically Translatable Hyperpolarized 13C Pyruvate Magnetic Resonance


Localized renal tumors are increasingly detected incidentally at imaging. Conventional imaging cannot reliably differentiate the 20% of these tumors that are benign from malignant renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), leading to unnecessary surgical resection and resulting morbidity associated with surgery. Here, we investigated hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate metabolism in live patient-derived renal tumor tissue slices using a novel magnetic resonance (MR) -compatible bioreactor platform. We demonstrated for the first time that clear cell RCCs (ccRCCs), which account for 70-80% of all RCCs, have increased lactate production as well as rapid lactate efflux compared to benign renal tumors. This difference is attributed to increased lactate dehydrogenase A and monocarboxylate transporter 4 expression in ccRCCs. This distinctive metabolic phenotype can be used to differentiate RCCs from benign renal tumors using clinically translatable hyperpolarized 13C pyruvate MR.

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