Advanced physiologic imaging helps localize tumors for surgical resection, and noninvasively provides information about the tumor that might guide diagnosis and treatment. The development and improvement of new diagnostic techniques could have enormous impact on patient care.
One area of active neuroimaging research at UCSF involves the development of hyperpolarized 13C MRI, a type of metabolic imaging that can identify and monitor brain tumor response to treatment. UCSF is one of the few institutions with this technology, and we initiated the first ever-application of hyperpolarized 13C MRI to patients with brain tumors.
Preliminary studies in glioblastoma models indicate that hyperpolarized 13C MRI may be used for earlier detection of a patient’s tumor response to medical therapies (like TMZ or other drugs). This advance in neuroimaging could allow doctors to tell if a drug regimen is working, just days after it is administered. Ongoing work aims to improve the technology for use in the enhanced detection and real-time monitoring of brain tumors.