Back in May 2013, I gave a talk titled "The Motivations and Systems for High Content In-vivo Tomographic Imaging in
Drug Discovery" at the 6th Imaging in Drug Discovery & Development Conference in Boston. Mediso USA was the Silver Sponsor for the event.
According to GTC this is "the only imaging conference that brings together high-level/influential leaders with decision-making authority from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and government to share their knowledge and expertise in drug discovery and development". Needles to say, the sessions were indeed interesting, with an interesting mix from academia, government, pharma and imaging companies.
Session topics included:
- Advantages and Challenges of Available Imaging Modalities
- Translational Imaging Applications: Preclinical to Clinical
- Imaging Applications Across Multiple Therapeutic Areas
- Molecular Imaging and Diagnostic Approaches and Capabilities
- High Content Imaging, Quantitative Imaging and Modeling Capabilities
The November issue of the was published today in the Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, with the Feature Article: Raising the Bar in Preclinical Imaging written by MaryAnn Labant. The article is based on presentations given at the May GTC Imaging in Drug Discovery and Development Conference.
Please find below our related section from the second page of the online article.
Integrated Imaging Systems
Preclinical PET scanners with an integrated microCT have substantially improved the anatomical registration of PET predominately to the skeleton, yet little progress has been made in soft tissue contrast, even with the use of a CT contrast agent.
Integrated PET/MRI or SPECT/MRI systems offer many benefits. MRI uses no radiation, offers better soft tissue contrast, and provides molecular readouts. To date, preclinical PET imaging combined with MRI has been performed using two independent systems and a bespoke co-registration algorithm to fuse the images.
Mediso recently commercialized the first serially produced, fully integrated, automated PET/MRI system, the nanoScan PET/MRI, and a fully integrated, automated SPECT/MRI system, the nanoScan SPECT/MRI. Single systems enable use of the same imaging technology, imaging protocol, and biomarkers for small to large subjects.
According to Illes J. Muller, managing partner, preclinical PET/MRI and SPECT/MRI allow combination of radionuclide biomarkers with an MRI contrast agent on a routine basis, an attractive prospect for evaluating new drugs for oncology, neurology, and cardiovascular disease. Now, physiological/metabolic readouts can be combined with high-resolution, soft-tissue contrast as well as dynamic functional perfusion imaging.
In addition, SPECT provides the ability to perform multi-isotope imaging, probing two or more molecular pathways simultaneously by detecting isotopes with different emission energies, and has no physical limits in resolution. SPECT/MRI technology is less expensive. The labeling is easier, and no on-site cyclotron is required.
A potential major application for multimodal emission tomography combined with MRI is quantitative 3D imaging of tumor heterogeneity. To assess the spatial distribution of a given PET or SPECT biomarker within a tumor requires ultra-high resolution and high sensitivity and corrections for tumor perfusion. MRI is able to differentiate between healthy and dead tumor tissue for tumor response evaluation.
Note: This was the related section from the article, with links added to the relevant pages of Mediso USA website.
The blog image shows a Mouse Tumor Heterogeneity Study performed with nanoScan PET/MRI. The mouse was injected with 3 MBq Ga68-DOTA-TATE and imaged for 15 minutes at 60-75 min post injection.