Tariq Shah1, Balaji Krishnamachary1, Flonne Wildes1, Yelena Mironchik1, Zaver M. Bhujwalla1
Hypoxia is frequently observed in tumor microenvironments and plays a significant role in the aggressive phenotype. The ability to degrade and invade into extracellular matrix (ECM) is a critical requirement in the metastatic cascade. The ability to metastasize is one of the most lethal aspects of cancer. Here, using our MR-compatible cell perfusion assay, we have investigated the effect of hypoxia on the ability of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells to degrade ECM. Hypoxia induced a significant increase of ECM degradation, and altered metabolism. These data suggest that hypoxia may be a potent facilitator of ECM degradation in tumors.