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Melissa Templeton

Health Sciences, '16


T1-weighted imaging of primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma using magnetic ferumoxytol nanoparticles

Mentor: Mukesh Harisinghani, PhD (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Ferumoxytol is an iron-based super-paramagnetic nanoparticle that is detectable by MRI. It has been previously clinically approved as a drug treatment for anemia in adult patients with chronic kidney disease. Ferumoxytol's magnetic properties and relative safety has led it to be introduced into imaging techniques to track disease progression. A study showed it to effectively show pancreatic inflammation in patient with type 1 diabetes, leading researchers to describe a new, non-invasive method of tracking the progression of the disease. Ferumoxytol has also now been shown to be an effective contrast agent in MR imaging for tumor delineation after neoadjuvant (pre-operative) therapy in patients afflicted with primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The administration of ferumoxytol prior to scanning provides more distinct margins in patients scheduled to undergo a Whipple's procedure. Further research is now being done to exam ferumoxytol's effectiveness in tumor delineation on T1-vibe MRI sequences. It is envisioned that this research will drastically improve the ability of radiologists to image tumors and provide more specific and exact delineations for the surgical removal of pancreatic carcinomas.

Pancreatic inflammation is readily detected using MRI following the injection of Ferumoxytol. Here the Ferumoxytol accumulation (false-colored) is overlaid on T1-weighted images of the abdomen. Source: Source: