Mrs Eva Serrao


Position: PhD student
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Research description

Despite medical advances, pancreatic cancer still has a 5-year survival rate of less than 6%. The ideal way to improve this is to diagnose the cancer at an early stage. I have been working on the feasibility of using hyperpolarised pyruvate metabolism, as a magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (MRSI) metabolic agent, and the ratio of the subsequently formed alanine and lactate as a probe to detect, grade and follow progression of precursor lesions of pancreatic cancer before any morphological lesion or tumour can be detected by conventional imaging. A genetically-engineered mouse model that fully recapitulates the human disease has been used. Since the technique of hyperpolarisation of 13C compounds (i.e.DNP), that are then used as MRSI agents, has already been translated to the clinical field, namely on prostate cancer, this study shows its possible application as an improved diagnostic tool in the screening of individuals at high-risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Research Programme
Advanced Cancer Imaging
Keywords

pancreatic cancer Early detection MRI imaging DPN Hyperpolarization

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Key publications