TRD 1: Imaging Cancer Heterogeneity

N Agar C Tempany Alexandra Golby S Maier
Nathalie Y. R. Agar, PhD Clare M. Tempany, MD Alexandra Golby, MD Stephan E. Maier, MD, PhD
Junichi Tokuda Fiona Sandro Santagata
Junichi Tokuda, PhD Fiona M. Fennessy, MD, PhD Sandro Santagata, MD, PhD Filip Szczepankiewicz, PhD

Led by Nathalie Agar, the focus areas for the Imaging Cancer Heterogeneity TRD are:

  • Integrating mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of tissue metabolism, MRI, and histopathology for the assessment of brain tumor heterogeneity.

  • New diffusion imaging sequences to characterize cell architecture traits in prostate cancer.

  • New MRI pulse sequence for blood oxygenation mapping that accelerates acquisition speed more than ten-fold, without sacrificing volume coverage.


Select Publications

Basu SS, Agar NYR. Bringing Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry Imaging to the Clinics. Clin Lab Med. 2021;41 (2) :309-324.Abstract
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is an emerging analytical technique that promises to change tissue-based diagnostics. This article provides a brief introduction to MALDI MSI as well as clinical diagnostic workflows and opportunities to apply this powerful approach. It describes various MALDI MSI applications, from more clinically mature applications such as cancer to emerging applications such as infectious diseases and drug distribution. In addition, it discusses the analytical considerations that need to be considered when bringing these approaches to different diagnostic problems and settings.
Langbein BJ, Szczepankiewicz F, Westin C-F, Bay C, Maier SE, Kibel AS, Tempany CM, Fennessy FM. A Pilot Study of Multidimensional Diffusion MRI for Assessment of Tissue Heterogeneity in Prostate Cancer. Invest Radiol. 2021.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this exploratory study were to investigate the feasibility of multidimensional diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MddMRI) in assessing diffusion heterogeneity at both a macroscopic and microscopic level in prostate cancer (PCa). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Informed consent was obtained from 46 subjects who underwent 3.0-T prostate multiparametric MRI, complemented with a prototype spin echo-based MddMRI sequence in this institutional review board-approved study. Prostate cancer tumors and comparative normal tissue from each patient were contoured on both apparent diffusion coefficient and MddMRI-derived mean diffusivity (MD) maps (from which microscopic diffusion heterogeneity [MKi] and microscopic diffusion anisotropy were derived) using 3D Slicer. The discriminative ability of MddMRI-derived parameters to differentiate PCa from normal tissue was determined using the Friedman test. To determine if tumor diffusion heterogeneity is similar on macroscopic and microscopic scales, the linear association between SD of MD and mean MKi was estimated using robust regression (bisquare weighting). Hypothesis testing was 2 tailed; P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. RESULTS: All MddMRI-derived parameters could distinguish tumor from normal tissue in the fixed-effects analysis (P < 0.0001). Tumor MKi was higher (P < 0.05) compared with normal tissue (median, 0.40; interquartile range, 0.29-0.52 vs 0.20-0.18; 0.25), as was tumor microscopic diffusion anisotropy (0.55; 0.36-0.81 vs 0.20-0.15; 0.28). The MKi could not be predicted (no significant association) by SD of MD. There was a significant correlation between tumor volume and SD of MD (R2 = 0.50, slope = 0.008 μm2/ms per millimeter, P < 0.001) but not between tumor volume and MKi. CONCLUSIONS: This explorative study demonstrates that MddMRI provides novel information on MKi and microscopic anisotropy, which differ from measures at the macroscopic level. MddMRI has the potential to characterize tumor tissue heterogeneity at different spatial scales.