The Department of Biomedicine

BBB Seminar: Frits Thorsen

MR imaging of malignant brain tumour models in small rodents

Frits Thorsen
Molecular Imaging Centre (MIC), Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen

In order to better understand brain tumour biology and to develop new treatment strategies, several experimental animal models of primary and secondary brain malignancies have been developed. Recently our group has developed human brain tumour models in immunodeficient animals, to study separately biological properties that characterise tumour growth and progression.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is widely used in everyday clinical practice due to its excellent soft tissue contrast and high anatomical detail. Tissue contrast in MR images reflects the differential distribution of hydrogen atoms in particular tissues. As hydrogen atoms (protons) are mainly found within water molecules in organisms, MRI scans essentially visualize the distribution of water molecules in different types of tissues.

In preclinical animal models, longitudinal MR studies are commonly performed to assess tumour development and treatment efficacy. Although scanning protocols on clinical MR machines can be adapted to animal research, dedicated MR scanners are more and more used, allowing for higher magnetic field strengths, thus improving signal to noise ratio and spatial resolution. To assess tumour progression and treatment effects in our animal models, we have been using the 7 Tesla MR scanner at MIC for animal monitoring in several preclinical studies.

Chair: Arvid Lundervold, Department of Biomedicine