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01 March 2021

School researchers part of pan-European network for enhanced development and application of advanced MR imaging

Improving diagnosis through the use of advanced MRI is key


Researchers from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences are part of Glioma MR Imaging, GLiMR, a pan-European and multidisciplinary network to better inform and enhance development and application of advanced MR imaging. The team says it will improve decision making in the diagnosis, patient monitoring, and assessment of treatment response in clinical trials and clinical practice.

GLiMR aims to go beyond the state-of-the-art in glioma imaging by accelerating the use of advanced MRI for glioma in four focus areas: tumour characterisation, identification of regions at risk for progression, assessment of disease progression, and evaluation of treatment-related adverse effects.

Ultimately, GLiMR will apply new insights to stimulate innovation in personalised clinical management strategies, aiming at the refinement of diagnosis and the assessment of disease progression, the minimisation of adverse effects of treatment, and eventually the improvement of the long-term health-related quality of life of the patient.

GLiMR UK representative from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, Dr Tom Booth said the use of advanced MRI in clinical practice remains scarce due to the downstream effects of siloed glioma imaging research throughout the world with limited representation of MRI specialists in established consortia and the associated lack of available tools and expertise in clinical settings.

“These shortcomings delay the translation of scientific breakthroughs into novel treatment strategy,” Dr Booth said.

The novel concept ensures the creation of a network in which the glioma imaging community within Europe is connected and coordinates the development of advanced MRI biomarkers.

It was achieved through funding by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), specifically designed to foster pan European networks.

The GLiMR team said such a network will review and share current knowledge, draft and propose consensus guidelines, develop and share tools, and facilitate the execution of multi-centre advanced MRI studies for glioma.

Several Short-Term Scientific Missions supported by GLiMR inished successfully despite the COVID-19 pandemic including two related to King’s Health Partners which have been supervised by Dr Booth. A European neuroradiology researcher is determining the clinical value of a form of advanced MRI imaging called perfusion imaging at King’s College Hospital; this study is now being rolled out at a second UK site, UCLH.

In a second study, a doctor who until recently was a King’s College London medical student/neuroimaging masters student, undertook 'virtual' advanced MRI imaging research in a Dutch centre. The aim was to derive information about the brain tumour tissue using novel techniques with biopsy correlation. The two centres are collaborating on the broader research.

In this story

Thomas  Booth

Reader in Neuroimaging