This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. Recent developments in magnetic resonance have the potential to provide much more sensitive and reliable diagnostic information for patients with cancer or at risk for cancer. UT Southwestern Medical Center was fortunate to acquire a 7 Tesla imaging and spectroscopy system in 2007. While the anticipated benefits in terms of spectral sensitivity and resolution in patients have been fulfilled, we learned that acquisition of radiofrequency (r.f.) coils is a critical bottleneck that severely limits the utility of the 7 Tesla instrument in clinical cancer research. The proposed engineering projects at Texas A &M University will target techniques such as parallel imaging and high field spectroscopy that have enormous potential but have not yet transitioned into cancer research or clinical care. We propose the development of non-invasive in vivo human metabolic profiling at 7T. Breast cancer and brain tumors will be the initial targets of our investigation, but these methods are applicable in other cancers. There are three projects: 1. The 7T system will be upgraded and coils will be constructed to optimize imaging and spectroscopy for clinical studies of breast cancer and malignancies involving the brain. Four interrelated subprojects will be accomplished: a) The 7T system will be upgraded to a dual channel 1H transmit system in early 2010. b) Two r.f. coils for spectroscopy of the breast will be designed and constructed at Texas A &M University. Both coils will have the capability of dual channel 1H transmit for 1H imaging and decoupling. One coil will be optimized for 1H decoupling and detection of 31P and the other will be optimized for 1H decoupling and detection of 13C. 31P MRS will be used to study tumor mitochondrial function and phosphocholine concentrations and 13C MRS will be used for tracing fat metabolism and other pathways in cancers. The design criteria will be optimal 13C or 31P spectroscopy integrated with 1H imaging of the unilateral breast. c) One dual channel transmit/receive coil will be constructed for optimized 1H imaging of the breast. The goal is to produce superb 1H images and 1H spectroscopy of the breast and axilla. The coil will be used for breast imaging and spectroscopy of choline, fat content, fat composition of lesions and other metabolites. d) One dual-channel r.f. coil system for 1H imaging and spectroscopy in the brain will be constructed and implemented for research in primary and metastatic brain malignancies. 2. The role of 1H, 13C and 31P NMR spectroscopy in diagnosis of breast lesions and the role of these methods in monitoring therapy will be evaluated. Increased phosphocholine (by 31P NMR) and total choline (by 1H NMR) will be evaluated as biomarkers of small breast lesions and indicators of therapeutic response. The chemical composition of breast tumors will be measured noninvasively by 13C NMR to test whether fat composition or other biomarkers detected by 13C differ in malignant lesions compared to normal tissue. 3. The role of 1H NMR spectroscopy at 7T in management of low grade gliomas, glioblastoma, and metastatic tumors will be evaluated. We will test the hypothesis that for patients with brain tumors, high resolution spectroscopy will identify tumor progression at an earlier time point than currently detectable with standard MR imaging. The intent is to leverage the strengths of Texas A &M University and of UT Southwestern to develop unique technology and to evaluate the role of this technology for cancer care.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biotechnology Resource Grants (P41)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SBIB-U (40))
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University of Texas Sw Medical Center Dallas
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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