NCITA Hyperpolarised 13C-MRI Webinar

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, University College London and University of Oxford recently came together in an online webinar hosted by NCITA, to present their latest research on hyperpolarised 13C-MRI.

With 70 registrants for the event, we welcomed participants from a wide range of backgrounds from cancer research institutions across the UK, Europe and the USA. We warmly thank Dr Ramona Woitek & Prof. Evis Sala from the University of Cambridge for chairing this excellent and informative event.

The first session provided an overview of hyperpolarised 13C-MRI research activities from the NCITA partner institutions. Prof. Kevin Brindle, University of Cambridge, started with an informative talk on imaging tumour metabolism using 13C and 2H nuclei, highlighting how the Cambridge group had pioneered much of this research area. Prof. Ferdia Gallagher, University of Cambridge, discussed the importance of clinical metabolic imaging for studying tumour heterogeneity, and the potential clinical roles for hyperpolarised 13C MRI.

Dr James Grist, University of Oxford, discussed the development of methods for the acquisition and post-processing of hyperpolarised 13C-MRI data, including the development of new coils. Vencel Somai, University of Cambridge, discussed numerical optimization in magnetic resonance imaging of metabolism, and Rafat Choudhury, University College London, discussed the different options for quantifying data from hyperpolarised experiments and presented a phantom for dynamic hyperpolarised 13C-MRI.

The next session focused on hyperpolarised 13C-MRI cancer research in specific disease sites. Dr Susana Ros, University of Cambridge, discussed imaging metabolic heterogeneity in patient derived xenograft (PDX) mouse models of different breast cancer subtypes. Dr Ramona Woitek, University of Cambridge, focused on hyperpolarised 13C-MRI in breast cancer in the clinical setting. During her talk, Dr Woitek explored how soon after starting neoadjuvant treatment can hyperpolarised 13C-MRI distinguish between responders and non-responders. Research indicates this can be as early as one week after the start of neoadjuvant treatment.

Dr Stephan Ursprung, University of Cambridge, discussed his research into hyperpolarised 13C-MRI in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), highlighting the low survival rates and the need to expand research and treatment in this area. Dr Ursprung discussed biologic validation of the method, its feasibility and potential clinical applications of hyperpolarised 13C-pyruvate MRI in RCC.

In the final talk of the webinar, Prof. Shonit Punwani, University College London, showed how hyperpolarised 13C-MRI was set up at his institution, including the ups and downs of that story. Prof. Punwani also discussed his research into hyperpolarised 13C-MRI of the prostate and covered the pros and cons of multi-parametric MRI, including the importance of sharing our learnings within the wider imaging community to enhance efficiency.

For more information about our research at NCITA, please view our exemplar projects as well as studies adopted by NCITA for infrastructure support.   

If you are interested in organising a training event or webinar event in partnership with NCITA, please contact the NCITA Education and Communication Manager, Elizabeth Openshaw (