Optimising OE-MRI biomarkers of hypoxia for use in advanced radiotherapy

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: School of Health Sciences


Hypoxia - the under-supply of oxygen - is a fundamental aspect of tumour physiology that plays a critical role in tumour growth and response to treatment. Non-invasive imaging methods to quantify hypoxia have long been desired as they promise the ability to characterise the spatial distribution of hypoxia and to track the development of a tumour over time - capabilities of great value in radiotherapy planning and treatment assessment, respectively.
Manchester is at an exciting moment for radiotherapy and imaging, driven by a combination of its critical mass of physics and radiology-led expertise in the area and its multi-million pound investment in ground-breaking equipment (one of the new generation of combined MR-PET scanners (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) within a single scanner); one of only a small number of the new revolutionary MR-LINAC therapy systems (a linear accelerator embedded in an MRI scanner for improved guidance of the radiation therapy beam); and one of only a small number of the equally revolutionary new proton therapy systems (promising improved outcomes over conventional radiotherapy)). This coincides with the emergence of a highly promising MRI-based imaging method for identifying and mapping tumour hypoxia - a method known as oxygen-enhanced MRI (OE-MRI). The Manchester team has pioneered this technique and received international acclaim (editorials, TV, newspapers).
This project will further develop the OE-MRI method for use in radiotherapy planning. It will involve the development of MR-PET image acquisition methods and of image analysis methods, computational modelling of oxygen utilisation within tumours, and the development of proof-of-principle methods for deploying the output hypoxia measurements for radiotherapy. The project will be supervised by a highly successful and interdisciplinary team of leading researchers with many years of previous supervision experience. It is expected that the project will lead to a number of high profile publications and lay the foundations for the use of OE-MRI in radiotherapy planning for the direct benefit of cancer patients.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/N013751/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2025
2105543 Studentship MR/N013751/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2025 Michael Dubec