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Jessica Munck

Behavioral Neuroscience, '20


Assessment of atherosclerotic changes following neoadjuvant therapy using ferumoxytol as contrast imaging agent

Mentor: Mukesh Harisinghani, MD (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Atherosclerosis is characterized by inflammatory plaque buildup in the vascular wall. Radiation treatment of cancers can enhance the progression of atherosclerotic changes. Ferumoxytol particles are super paramagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles that get taken up by the macrophages in aortic plaques. The use of ferumoxytol as a contrast imaging agent has important implications for non-invasive diagnosis of atherosclerosis. We will assess for neoadjuvant therapy-induced atherosclerotic changes in cancer patients with T2* measurements of carotid walls imaged before and 48 hours after ferumoxytol administration. In our study, we will include the following groups: 1) cancer patients who have undergone neoadjuvant therapy before the imaging scans, 2) cancer patients who have not received therapy prior to imaging, and 3) control patients without cancer who will be administered ferumoxytol and analyzed as a baseline.