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Munich, Germany, 2011/01/03 - The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funds the joint research project 'New Technologies for hyperpolarised 13C metabolic imaging' of GE Global Research Munich, the TU Munich and RAPID Biomedical GmbH with 1.5M Euros. NYSE: GE
The project works on the optimisation of a new imaging modality – 13C hyperpolarised metabolic MR – so that it can be used for real time control of therapeutic response on a cellular level.
Imaging methods are of paramount importance for the diagnosis in modern medicine. They are a viable diagnostic tool in diseases such as cardiac insufficiency, Multiple Sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease and are being used for early diagnosis and control of therapeutic response in cancer. Many abnormal processes result in metabolic changes in the cells of the affected organs. It would therefore be a major progress to have a real time imaging method that would provide quantitative data on cellular metabolism.
One approach towards this diagnostic tool is called 13CMMR (hyperpolarised 13C metabolic MR), a novel, minimally invasive magnetic resonance method that provides in-vivo information of cellular metabolism, e.g. of tumour cells. 13CMMR is based on the combination of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and hyperpolarisation by dynamic nuclear polarisation (DNP) and results in increased sensitivity. Compared to the current gold standard positron emission tomography (PET) or to molecular marker based methods 13CMMR supports real in-vivo imaging – this fast, direct and differential quantification of metabolism provides a unique and innovative property. Following the successful MOBITUM study (BMBF #01EZ0826/7) the method is currently in the state of pre-clinical research.
This is a collaborative effort between the TU Munich (Profs. Haase, Schwaiger and Glaser), RAPID Biomedical GmbH (Dr. Lanz) and GE Global Research Munich (Drs. Menzel and Schulte). The team is working on preparing 13CMMR for clinical use, which involves several technological aspects, such as hardware, software and biochemical developments and optimisations.
The technologies that will be developed in this project are a major step in the direction of a clinical application of 13CMMR. The cooperation of five successful partners in the fields of MR technology, MR methodology and MR coils will strengthen the position of the national German research worldwide in this highly interdisciplinary field between applied basic science and clinical research.
The aim of the project is to bring a new dimension of imaging into the clinics, providing early and quantitative information about the effectiveness of a therapy. This will result in a better therapeutic response which in consequence will help both the patients and health care system by lowering the costs.
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