Zachary Chao with Dr. Srinivas Sridhar (NU)
Ferumoxytol nanoparticles present a possible contrast medium for the imaging of kidney tumors. Traditional MRI imaging makes use of gadolinium (Gd) based contrast agents. Gadolinium is generally safe when injected because it is filtered out of the blood quickly by the kidneys. However, in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or other renal tumors, kidney function is impaired. As such, Gd does not clear from the patient’s system as quickly, leading to Gd buildup in the body. Ferumoxytol is already used clinically to treat iron anemia, and it could have lower toxicity to patients with CKD. This project will look at the ability of ferumoxytol to act as a contrast agent in a low-field (0.35T) setting, such as those used in MRI-Guided Linear Accelerator (MRI-LINAC) systems. This will involve scanning different concentrations of ferumoxytol suspended in a saline solution while observing signal intensity, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). This could then lead into animal or patient studies. If successful, the combination of ferumoxytol with MRI-guided radiation from an MRI-LINAC could allow patients with CKD or renal tumors to receive more precisely targeted radiation, reducing potential exposure to surrounding organs and tissue.