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New imaging methods for detecting treatment response in lymphoma


Assessing treatment response in cancer is the most important single prognostic factor for a patient. Therefore, it is crucial to detect response as early as possible during treatment. Additionally, similar tumour types frequently have markedly different responses to the same therapy. Hodgkin lymphoma, for example, is one of the tumour types where a small group of patients fail to respond or respond poorly to treatment. The early evaluation of a specific treatment allows targeting effective therapy to responding patients while sparing the non-responders from expensive, toxic and unnecessary protocols. While the current method to assess treatment response is to measure tumour shrinkage by imaging, there may exist earlier and potentially more sensitive markers of treatment response based on tumour function. Prof Brindle’s group has an established expertise in this field. This project aims to develop non-invasive and clinically applicable imaging methods for detecting the initial responses of tumors to therapy in a realistic preclinical, genetically engineered mouse model of lymphoma. In this model, tumors arise spontaneously, constituting a better model for the human disease than those used previously. We will treat these animals using current treatment protocols and will use the imaging methods that we develop to assess tumour response. These methods will include a targeted radio-labelled agent that detects dying tumour cells and a novel magnetic resonance method, based on nuclear spin hyperpolarization, in which treatment response is detected through specific changes in tumour metabolism. The best reagents and imaging protocols will be selected for use in possible future clinical trials. Although we are developing these techniques in lymphoma, they could also be used with many other tumour types. We anticipate that in the future these methods could have significant impact in the clinic, both in drug development and in tailoring treatment to individual patients.

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St John Street 407 Angel Building
EC1V 4AD London
United Kingdom

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Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Emma Ryley (Dr.)
EU contribution
€ 172 740,80