The extremely poor prognosis and lack of effective treatments for glioblastoma (GBM) remains a significant public health issue. While traditional MRI techniques are valuable in determining GBM response to common anti-neoplastic therapies, novel treatments including immunotherapies, anti-angiogenic agents, or therapies that alter tumor metabolism may result in radiographic changes that are challenging to differentiate from non- responsive or growing tumor. Therefore, the primary goal of the Neuro-Imaging Core (NIC) will be to provide advanced MRI and PET imaging support with established reliability and consistency to SPORE project investigators for their respective projects.
Specifically, the NIC will use quantitative mMRI and mPET for pre- clinical imaging (Aim 1) and state-of-the-art MR and PET imaging acquisition, advanced post-processing, and novel analysis tools for clinical imaging of patients in novel clinical trials (Aim 2). Hence, this Core will add value to the overall SPORE by helping investigators to better understand the in situ metabolic, physiologic, and traditional radiographic changes within the brain and tumor in order to address specific objectives of each of the UCLA Brain Cancer SPORE projects. Another main goal of the NIC is to understand the link between metabolic and/or physiologic imaging and tumor biology in order to reliably delineate treatment response versus recurrent tumor (Aim 3), which in turn will facilitate the direct translation of new MR-PET companion biomarkers/techniques to the clinic for the evaluation of treatment response in ongoing and new therapeutic clinical trials resulting from the SPORE projects and cores.