MRI has revolutionized the way we diagnose and manage cancer. MRI allows us to visualize the internal structures of the body with high clarity, providing detailed information about the location, size, and characteristics of tumours. With this information, physicians can develop more accurate treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs.
No two cancer patients are alike. Therefore, cancer patients can benefit greatly from personalised treatments. Quantitative MRI (qMRI) biomarkers can characterise tumour’s diffusion (diffusion-weighted imaging; DWI/intra-voxel incoherent motion; IVIM), perfusion (dynamic contrast-enhanced; DCE/IVIM), hypoxia (Bold/T2*-relaxometry), and elastic properties (magnetic resonance elastography; MRE), four key characteristics that can be used to select the optimal personalised treatment. Good blood flow is essential for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, hence, by characterizing blood flow, it will be possible to predict whether these treatments will work even before radiation and chemotherapy. Tumours often have a higher cell density. So, response to therapy can be determined by measuring a decrease in cell density over time. Therefore, quantitative MRI could have an important clinical impact and enable rational choices for starting, modifying or continuing the most optimal therapy.
At Amsterdam UMC, we develop and test new quantitative MRI approaches. Notably, we focus on several key aspects. We develop machine learning approaches for improving the quality of quantitative MRI data. Moreover, we develop new techniques to obtain data in the presence of (respiratory) motion. Finally, we test these techniques in clinical studies.
With its high-resolution images and ability to capture soft tissue structures, MRI can provide accurate information on the location, size, and shape of tumours, as well as the surrounding healthy tissue. This information is crucial in planning radiotherapy treatment, as it enables physicians to target the tumor while minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue. MRI can also be used during the course of radiotherapy to monitor the tumour’s response to treatment, allowing for adjustments to the treatment plan if necessary.
At Amsterdam UMC, we develop and test MRI for radiotherapy. Particularly, we investigate the visibility of the tumour and surrounding structures on MRI. Moreover, we monitor and characterize tumour motion to take along in the treatment. Finally, we develop quantitative MRI techniques for radiotherapy