Combining [F18]FAZA PET and DCE MRI to evaluate anti-cancer drug treatments

Seth Gammon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Historically we have sequentially utilized PET/CT and then MRI in both our existing projects and emerging projects. First we are utilizing PET/CT then MRI to validate new PET reporters of inflammation. While these experiments are possible and one can reasonably compare volume of interest based analysis, precise co-registration is difficult and does not leverage the true power of multiple MRI acquisitions to study interesting co-variants such as soft tissue composition, flow, diffusion, and perfusion in the regions of inflammation in the same mice at the same time. We are also interested in studying and will utilize sequential [F18]FAZA PET/CT then DCE MRI to study the effects of specific gene knockouts in the context of syngeneic tumor models both with and without immunotherapy. This projects are ideal for simultaneous PET/MRI, so that we can study both the flow based input function and the net oxygenation on a voxel wise basis, and determine how specific genes and molecularly targeted therapeutics might modulate these parameters. In the future I hope to migrate both of these projects to the simultaneous PET/MRI system to take advantage of simultaneous, multimodal imaging.