PhD candidate Daniëlle van Dorth (LUMC) received a so-called "Summa Cum Laude Award" from The European Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) for her research into the influence of various factors on MRI scans of brain tumors. The research is part of the scientific program Medical Delta Cancer Diagnostics 3.0.
Patients with a (suspected) brain tumor often receive a certain dose of contrast fluid during an MRI scan. Van Dorth's simulation research shows that the influence of the contrast agent on the final MRI signal depends on the hematocrit value of the blood, the field strength of the MRI scanner and the scanning method. It pays to include these dependencies in the analysis of the MRI signal, so that a more reliable analysis can be performed per patient and per scanner. In this analysis, important characteristics of the tumor are determined that are related to, for instance, the blood supply. At the moment, the dependence of the various factors is not taken into account.
“Van Dorth's research is the first that she conducted within the PhD research she started in March this year, and at the time simulations were the only possibility due to the lockdown. It is all the more remarkable that her research immediately receives international recognition,” says Prof. Matthias van Osch (LUMC), one of the scientific leaders of the scientific program Medical Delta Cancer Diagnostics 3.0.
The goal of her overall PhD research is to obtain more information from MRI scans. Currently, biopsies are often required in patients with brain tumors to choose the right treatment. Van Dorth is exploring whether improvements in clinical MRI research and a new (extra) MRI study on a scanner with a stronger magnet make it possible to gather crucial information about the tumor's blood supply non-invasively. This could make it possible to better characterize a tumor and adjust treatment accordingly. For this research she collaborates with radiologists, physicists and neurologists from the LUMC and Erasmus MC.