Prof. Dr. Michael Bock
Radiation Oncology and Imaging (ROI)
In this DKTK research project we are investigating in several clinical studies how new anatomical and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods can be integrated into diagnostic and therapeutic concepts. Several ongoing studies focus on diffusion, perfusion and relaxometric MRI methods in the context of radiation therapy (in coop. with the Dept. of Radiotherapy) to improve the definition of the tumor, to better predict therapy outcome and to individualize the treatment. In these translational studies we are correlating the results of the MR measurements with positron emission tomography and the applied radiation dose.
In the context of the glioblastoma, we have developed a new method to classify the vessels in the periphery of the tumor using only vessel-sensitive MRI. The aim of this study was to automatically analyze the vascular architecture, which can then be used to detect vascular changes under anti-angiogenic therapies. We could show that tumor vessels have a substantially different structure even in macroscopic images, and we can now combine this information with histology and gene profiling.
In addition, we are developing new MRI methods based on the oxygen isotope 17O, which we use as a tracer to study the oxygen metabolization in tissues. Oxygen metabolism is an important parameter in many tumors, and its non-invasive measurement might enable a more individualized therapeutic strategy. Currently, we are using both 17O-enriched gas as well as 17O-labeled glucose to determine the metabolic turnover of these substances, and we are developing new technologies (radio-frequency coils, MRI pulse sequences, image reconstruction and post-processing routines) to be able to use 17O MRI not only in an experimental setting, but also at clinical MRI systems.