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Metabolic Imaging with RF Antennas to predict Chemotherapy Efficacy

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MIRACLE (Metabolic Imaging with RF Antennas to predict Chemotherapy Efficacy)

Reporting period: 2019-05-01 to 2021-07-31

What is the problem/issue being addressed?
This project aims to validate an MRI-biomarker that can assess response to chemotherapy treatment in patients with breast cancer. To this end, we developed dedicated MRI hardware capable of measuring the biomarker with high sensitivity. As a validation, we compare the measure of the biomarker at the clinically used magnetic field strength (7 Tesla) with an experimental MR scanner with a much stronger field (10.5 Tesla) which allows to assess the accuracy of the biomarker detection. Eventually we aim to bring the detection of this biomarker to FDA approval.
For the MRI coil design:
To find a solution to combine proton and phosphorus MRI elements that should behave in a comparable way for both 7T and 10.5T MRI scanner .

Why is it important for society?
MIRACLE project is developing a first-of-kind add-on clinical device for MRI scanners that will be used to acquire a virtual biopsy of the tumor providing not only structural information on tumor dimensions for (tissue conserving) surgery but also unique metabolic information on the efficacy of specific systemic therapies. Ultimately, this fully non-invasive, accurate, and rapid predictive approach can guide patients to the best fitting treatment plan given their personal circumstances and tumor characteristics.

What are the overall objectives?
The overall aim of the project is to assess the accuracy in detecting the phospholipid biomarker (PE/GPC) non-invasively with MRI in breast cancer.
WaveTronica contributed to the MIRACLE project by engineering a mammocoil setup. To be able to do a comparison study on a 7tesla and 10.5tesla MRI scanner. Since these two MRI scanners inherently operate with different radio frequencies for both the proton and phosphorus nuclei imaging. The coils cannot be made identical. But for a fair comparison, the coils needed to be similar enough, I.e. meet minimum specifications. WaveTronica realized several test versions and mostly spent time on reorganizing parts (antenna like structures) on the same holder mechanics. During this process, the most used equipment is a vector network analyzer, but also, at some point, the MRI scanner from UMCU was needed to verify the findings from the bench measurements. A workable solution for 7tesla was found that could be translated to 10.5T. The final preproduction versions with a fitting holder were designed and shipped to the USA with accompanying documentation (including results from the safety study performed by the UMCU). These documentations are essential for the Minnesota University local safety commission for scanner clearance of this new hardware. To be able to compare scanner performance between UMCU and Minnesota scanners, a Phantom was designed by WaveTronica and shared with both parties.

Before WaveTronica can bring the MRI coil and the insight on cancer treatment progression this technology can bring to the patient. More work and studies need to be performed. As promising as this new technology is, and as much as our team would like to move forward. Medical technology development is time-consuming, expensive, and bound by regulations. To keep moving forward, WaveTronica has found interested investors and applied for a new EU grant in a new consortium. This project has been a significant investment for a small enterprise as WaveTronica. Nonetheless, we believe it is vital to the future of our company and also could be (partially) to the future of MRI worldwide as a tool to improve patient treatments.
Please check the deliverable WP 1.7 The design preproduction/ prototype coil design 7 and 10,5T and the holders and phantoms