Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are separate techniques carried out using separate machines. The image alignment from both analyses is not straight forward primarily due to the incompatibility of the platforms holding the animals in place during imaging with each technique. As the animal imaged using FMT is hold on one platform, and then moved to another platform for MRI imaging, it is difficult and time consuming to realign the animal in the same position and orientation on the two platforms. Additionally, movement of the animal may cause shifting of internal organs, further contributing to alignment difficulties of the images. A need exists to reduce or avoid the requirement to move the animal, and to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of FMT-MRI image alignment.
Summary of the Invention
Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center designed and constructed a holder for positioning a mouse in a vertical bore MRI system in the same orientation as the mouse is held in the imaging cassette for a commercial Fluorescence Molecular Tomography system. The invention also consists of a method for imaging a tumor in an animal comprising the following steps: (1) labeling an organ in the animal with a first label detectable by both FMT and MR and localized substantially exclusively to the organ of interest; (2) administering to the animal one or more detectably labeled probes that localize substantially exclusively to a region of interest in the body of the animal separate from the labeled organ; (3) imaging the animal with a FMT imager to generate an FMT image, and imaging the animal with a MR imager to generate an MR image; (4) aligning the FMT image and MR image using the first fiducial marker as a first reference point in the FMT image and in the MR image, thereby generating an fusion image of the FMT and MR images. The method was successfully used in following ovarian cancer development having labeled kidney as a marker in mice.
Patent Status US 9,629,549 issued April 25, 2017.
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Inna Khartchenko, MS, MBA
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