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Abstract #0370

Direct imaging of gemcitabine delivery in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) using CEST MRI

Yuguo Li 1,2 , Kannie W.Y. Chan 1,2 , Theodore Ewachiw 3 , Michael T McMahon 1,2 , Peter C.M. Van Zijl 1,2 , Zeshaan Rasheed 3 , and Guanshu Liu 1,2

1 F.M. Kirby Research Center for Functional Brain Imaging, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, MD, United States, 2 Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States, 3 Department of Oncology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States

One formidable challenge in treating advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the highly heterogeneous vascular barriers that hinder efficacious drug delivery. Here, we propose a new approach to monitor delivery directly using the inherent Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (CEST) MRI signal carried by the drug. Our results first showed that gemcitabine, the first-line treatment for PDAC, could be readily detected by CEST MRI via its exchangeable amino (2.3 ppm) and hydroxyl (1.0 ppm) protons. We conclude that direct CEST MR imaging of the uptake and distribution of gemcitabine in PDAC tumors can be accomplished without the use of additional imaging agents.

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