Work in progress
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement n° 305311
WHAT IS INSERT?
INSERT is a research project funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission.
Its acronym (INSERT) stands for “Development of an integrated SPECT/MRI system for enhanced stratification of brain tumour patients prior to patient-specific radio-chemo therapy and early assessment of treatment efficacy”)
The project officially started on March 1st, 2013 and it will last for 4 years.
PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT
Our purpose is to provide improved personalized radio-chemo therapies and clinically relevant stratification for brain tumour patients with potentially better outcome in survival and quality-of-life using a specifically developed multi-modality imaging tool. The initial focus will be on patients with glioma, but there is future potential to target a range of tumours in the head and neck region. The proposed tool is based on the development of a SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) system to be used as an insert to an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) gantry.
Unfortunately, notwithstanding the innovations brought by the scientific research, the management of glioma patients, both adults and in paediatric age, is still a challenge, since the life expectancy of these patients is very low and the surgery does not represent a definitive solution in all cases, given to the nature of these tumours.
Thanks to the possibility of obtaining multiple parameters, the INSERT system will enable to better define the tumour biology and to give relevant information for a personalized treatment, with a considerable impact on the efficacy of the treatment itself.
WHAT IS A SPECT?
SPECT is a nuclear medicine technique used to generate physiological images of the body.
SPECT is attractive as an alternative to Positron Emission Tomography (PET) both in preclinical studies, where potentially better resolution is achievable, as well as in clinical trials. In both cases the possibility to use multiple SPECT radionuclides to simultaneously demonstrate multiple biological processes will be particularly useful.
The detection module is based on a array of 144 SiPMs (2x2 merged in a single electronic channel) and on a 36 channel readout ASIC. The phtodector is coupled monolithic CsI:Tl scintillator 8mm thick. Intrinsic resolution at 122 keV was measured to be 1.1 mm.
THE DETECTOR MODULE
The photo detector tile is mounted to a liquid cooled heat sink to ensure the optimal operational temperature of 0°C. Signals of the SiPM tile are processed and multiplexed by the ASIC and digitalized by the connecting DAQ board. All PCBs were designed for MRI compatibility and the detector module was successfully tested at 3T and 7T.
To test subunits of the system a prototype capable of mouse brain imaging was prepared.
The system was tested for MRI compatibility and SPECT performance.
After successful test of the pre-clinical system, the clinical system is being manufactured now.
news and events