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Abstract #0018

Deuterium magnetic resonance spectroscopy using 2H-pyruvate allows non-invasive in vivo imaging of TERT expression in brain tumors

Georgios Batsios1, Celine Taglang1, Meryssa Tran1, Anne Marie Gillespie1, Joseph Costello2, Sabrina Ronen1, and Pavithra Viswanath1
1Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, United States, 2Neurological Surgery, UCSF, San Francisco, CA, United States

Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression is essential for tumor proliferation. Since TERT is exclusively expressed in tumor cells, TERT is also an attractive therapeutic target. However, non-invasive methods of imaging TERT are lacking. Here, we show that TERT expression in preclinical patient-derived brain tumor models is associated with elevated steady-state levels of NADH, an effect that can be non-invasively visualized in vivo by deuterium metabolic imaging using [U-2H]pyruvate. Since 2H-MRS can be readily implemented on clinical MR scanners, our results provide an innovative, clinically translatable method of integrating information regarding a fundamental cancer hallmark, i.e. TERT, into glioma patient management.

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