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    ABSTRACT: Metastasis to the brain results in significant impairment of brain function and poor patient survival. Currently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is under-utilised in monitoring brain metastases and their effects on brain function. Here, we sought to establish a model of focal brain metastasis in the rat that enables serial multimodal structural and functional MRI studies, and to assess the sensitivity of these approaches to metastatic growth. Female Berlin-Druckrey-IX rats were injected intracerebrally with metastatic ENU1564 cells in the ventroposterior medial nucleus (VPM) of the thalamus, a relay node of the whisker-to-barrel cortex pathway. Animals underwent multimodal structural and vascular MRI, as well as functional MRI of the cortical blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) responses to whisker pad stimulation. T2 , diffusion, magnetisation transfer and perfusion weighted MRI enabled differentiation between a central area of more advanced metastatic growth and penumbral regions of co-optive perivascular micrometastatic growth, with magnetisation transfer MRI being the most sensitive to micrometastatic growth. Areas of cortical BOLD activation in response to whisker pad stimulation were significantly reduced in the hemisphere containing metastases in the VPM. The reduction in BOLD response correlated with metastatic burden in the thalamus, and was sensitive to the presence of smaller metastases than currently detectable clinically. Our findings suggest that multimodal MRI provides greater sensitivity to tumour heterogeneity and micrometastatic growth than single modality contrast-enhanced MRI. Understanding the relationships between these MRI parameters and the underlying pathology may greatly enhance the utility of MRI in diagnosis, staging and monitoring of brain metastasis. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · International Journal of Cancer
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    ABSTRACT: With the development of new imaging techniques, the potential for probing the molecular, cellular, and structural components of the tumor microenvironment in situ has increased dramatically. A multitude of imaging modalities have been successfully employed to probe different aspects of the tumor microenvironment, including expression of molecules, cell motion, cellularity, vessel permeability, vascular perfusion, metabolic and physiological changes, apoptosis, and inflammation. This chapter focuses on the most recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging methods, which offer a number of advantages over other methodologies, including high spatial resolution and the use of nonionizing radiation, as well as the use of such methods in the context of primary and secondary brain tumors. It also highlights how they can be used to assess the molecular and cellular changes in the tumor microenvironment in response to therapy.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Dosimeters often consist of several components whose mass densities differ substantially from water. These components cause small-field correction factors to vary significantly as lateral electronic equilibrium breaks down. Even amongst instruments designed for small-field dosimetry, inter-detector variation in the correction factors associated with very small (∼0.5 cm) fields can amount to tens of per cent. For a given dosimeter, small-field correction factors vary not only with field size but also with detector azimuthal angle and position within the field. Furthermore the accurate determination of these factors typically requires time-intensive Monte Carlo simulations. Thus, if achievable, 'correction factor free' small-field dosimetry would be highly desirable. This study demonstrates that a new generation of mass-density compensated detectors could take us towards this goal. Using a 6 MV beam model, it shows that 'mass-density compensation' can be utilized to improve the performance of a range of different detectors under small-field conditions. Non-sensitive material of appropriate mass-density is incorporated into detector designs in order to make the instruments behave as if consisting only of water. The dosimeter perturbative effects are then reduced to those associated with volume averaging. An even better solution-which modifies detectors to obtain profiles that look like those measured by a point-like water structure-is also considered. Provided that adequate sensitivity can be achieved for a small measurement volume, this study shows that it may be possible to use mass-density compensation (and Monte Carlo-driven design) to produce a solid-state dosimeter/ionization chamber with a near-perfect non-equilibrium response.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
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