Led by Professor Fergus Gleeson
Hyperpolarised xenon MRI
In the previous BRC, Professor Gleeson developed the use of hyperpolarised 129-xenon lung magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This technology (pictured), which is being used to detect long-term lung damage as a result of COVID-19, uses a novel approach that can detect functional changes of the lung that impact its ability to properly handle the exchange of gases when someone breathes in and out.
We are now translating xenon MRI scanning from a research setting to a clinically useful tool in patients with respiratory disease, working with commercial partners and other centres nationally.
The team is benefitting from the recent acquisition of a state-of-the art xenon polariser system from Polarean.
Hyperpolarised Carbon-13 MRI
A team led by Professor Damian Tyler has used hyperpolarised Carbon-13 MRI scans to quantify the metabolic changes that occur in the diseased human heart. We are now studying how this technique might be used to improve diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer, and to manage stroke.
Early diagnosis of liver, pancreas and bile duct cancers
Primary cancers of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts often present late and have poor prognosis. Led by Dr Michael Pavlides and Dr Adam Bailey and working with the spin-out company Perspectum, we are using multiparametric, high-resolution MRI to give a more detailed image of the biliary system and liver than a regular MRI scan, in order to achieve earlier diagnosis for patients, as well as to better characterise the disease and for risk stratification to enable clinicians to identify the right level of care for patients.
Blood cancer imaging
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are blood cancers that begin with a mutation in a stem cell in the bone marrow. Fibrosis, or scarring, of the bone marrow is a cardinal biomarker showing that MPN diseases are progressing.
A team led by Professor Adam Mead is developing a non-invasive, quantitative assessment of bone marrow fibrosis in MPN patients to overcome the current limitations and to complement biopsies as a widely implementable method of diagnosis.
Photon-counting CT imaging
The UK’s first photon-counting computerised tomography (CT) scanner has been installed in the Oxford Acute Multidisciplinary Imaging and Intervention Centre (AMIIC), at the John Radcliffe Hospital. This technology provides quicker and much higher resolution images than a regular CT scan, and is a crucial tool in earlier diagnosis for cardiovascular patients, including acute ones.
Led by Professor Charalambos Antoniades, we are employing the new technology to push forward our ability to detect heart and brain disease and malignancy at an early stage.