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Improvement of Magnetic Resonance based Molecular Imaging strategies for brain cancer diagnosis and therapy response monitoring (MARESCAN)


Brain tumours account for less than 2% of all primary tumours but are one of the most lethal
cancers when “life lost” years are considered. The commonest class of primary malignant brain tumours is
Glioblastoma (GBM) with median life expectancy in optimally managed patients below 15 months.
Innovative therapeutic approaches for GBM is an unmet clinical need. Nevertheless, one of the recurrent
problems for successful drug translational trials is lack of affordable in vivo intermediate endpoint
biomarkers of response. MARESCAN aims to address this need by developing a pipeline of promising
molecular imaging tools for monitoring the treatment of glioma, to

  • test them in relevant preclinical models and
  • to carry out a proof-of-concept (PoC) study in GBM patients during the project time span.
    In short, we plan to

    • Increase the number of metabolome perturbation strategies available for MRSIbased
      molecular imaging (Perturbation Enhanced MRSI, PE-MRSI) characterization of preclinical models
      of brain cancer;

    • Demonstrate intermediate end-point therapy response surrogate role for at least one
      PE-MRSI protocol at preclinical level;

    • Attempt a proof-of-concept of clinical feasibility of one molecular
      imaging PE-MRSI protocol;

    • Improve the preclinical and clinical usability of MRS and MRSI data for
      diagnosis, prognosis and theragnosis by evolving already existing software tools (INTERPRET DSS,
      SpectraClassifier 3.0.09).