Radiology researchers from Johns Hopkins strike gold in poster hall

May 24, 2007

The two most prestigious poster awards were bestowed on research teams from the radiology department of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, at the ISMRM-ESMRMB congress on Thursday. Another top prize went to a team from Stanford University in California.

The two most prestigious poster awards were bestowed on research teams from the radiology department of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, at the ISMRM-ESMRMB congress on Thursday. Another top prize went to a team from Stanford University in California.

 

Of the Johns Hopkins winners, a group led by Cong Li collected the top prize for an oncology poster of their work on multimodal image-guided enzyme/prodrug cancer therapy. Then Seth Aaron Smith's study on MRI of the cervical spinal cord at 3T was given first prize for a neurological poster.

Li and coauthors elaborated on continuing development of enzyme/prodrug therapy as a cancer treatment strategy. Administration of a tumor-targeted enzyme is followed by a nontoxic prodrug. Tumor-located enzyme then converts the prodrug to an anticancer drug, and normal tissues lacking the enzyme are spared toxic chemotherapy.

"Determining the optimal time window for prodrug injection is of utmost importance. Inaccurate timing will lead to either systemic toxicity or low therapeutic effect," the investigators said. "Noninvasive imaging of enzyme delivery would be ideal for optimizing the prodrug injection."

 

Smith and his colleagues have studied white-matter damage to the spinal cord and provided quantitative analysis of spinal cord tissue in controls and patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy, a noninflammatory dorsal column demyelination.

The top award for an interventional poster went to William Overall's group from the departments of electrical engineering and cardiovascular medicine at Stanford. They addressed the complex topic of phase refocusing for improved visualization of interventional guidewires.

"Interventional devices can be connected as RF receivers for both visualization and active tracking, but the signal received from such devices is not strongly peaked at the device due to phase dispersion," the authors wrote. "We propose the use of an additional gradient echo (GRE) prephasing sequence to refocus this device signal."

This extra sequence provides phased refocusing for enhanced strongly peaked signal near the device, destructive cancellation of residual signal far from the device, and signal sharpness and accuracy comparable to that of an active RF transmit/receive device. The technique is a simple modification to GRE imaging, can be interleaved with anatomic imaging for real-time wire overlay, can be adapted to acquire projection images, and may also be applicable to microsolenoid receivers for active device tracking, they concluded.

More than 2000 traditional posters were displayed at the congress, in addition to around 950 electronic exhibits.