Delta Relaxation Enhanced Magnetic Resonance (dreMR) Imaging

dreMR Imaging of Albumin; Left: Conventional axial T2-weighted image of a mouse with a xenotransplanted breast tumour outline in yellow. (Phantoms used for image calibration are labeled 1 and 2.)  Right: Regional distribution of albumin in the same breast tumour measured using dreMR imaging with Ablavar (a contrast agent that binds to serum albumin). Increased albumin trafficking in breast tumours has been exploited for improved drug treatment using albumin-bound paclitaxel.

DreMR is a patented field-cycling contrast method for molecular imaging using MRI. The information obtained with dreMR imaging specifically identifies targeted molecular probes within the MR image. Tim Scholl’s group has demonstrated the capability of this method to measure the distribution of albumin in murine models of xenotransplanted human breast cancer. (See image below). With funding from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (Smarter Imaging Platform), a human-scale system will be developed, which will involve industrial collaboration from Synaptive Medical (Toronto). This will extend the application of this field-cycling technology to clinical systems to enhance the molecular imaging capabilities of magnetic resonance for imaging of human breast cancer.

Timothy Scholl, PhD
Blaine Chronik, PhD
Francisco Martínez-Santiesteban, PhD
William Handler, PhD
Yonathan Araya (PhD candidate)