Translational Oncology

Research group Translational Oncology

Group translational 02

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) as an MR-based technology that allows non-invasive examination of biochemical changes in tumors. It provides in vivo metabolic information that is not accessible by any other means using currently available experimental methods. The physical instrumentation, pulse sequences, and postprocessing methods that involve complex data analysis algorithms are our area of expertise in brain tumors.X-nuclear MRS has been used at our institution to measure various parameters including grading and staging of brain tumors with identification of tumor specific mutations, pharmacodynamics (when a drug contains MRS-detectable nuclei such as 19F) in trials of new oncology drugs and early response of brain tumors to treatment. In a new project we are applying our broad knowledge to lymphoma patients with superficial lymph node manifestations.Multi-parametric q-MRI refers to the acquisition of different quantitative parametric MR maps of the brain in clinical acquisition times. This technique allows one to probe the brain tumor regions non-invasively in order to gain more information regarding the true nature of the brain tumor.

The group leader Katharina Wenger-Alakmeh is a board-certified radiologist and assistant professor (Habilitation) at the Institute of Neuroradiology with prior clinical experience in Neurology/Neurooncology. Following her time as a Junior Clinician Scientist in 2016 (FFF), she became a fellow of the Mildred Scheel-Clinician Scientist program in October 2021. In addition, she has received funding from the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung. Throughout past projects she has worked with multidisciplinary groups of fellow researchers with the aim of translating innovative technologies into the clinical setting. She has a long-standing experience in MR-based metabolic tumor imaging working with patients and small animals.

Seyma Alcicek is an MD-PhD with prior experience in nuclear medicine which allowed her to gain insights into several oncological imaging techniques. During her PhD studies as a Marie Slodowska-Curie early-stage researcher at Jagiellonian University, she focused on practical applications of novel spectroscopic methods for the realization of their use in clinical studies. She became a fellow of the Mildred Scheel-Medical Scientist program in April 2022. Her research focuses on understanding the metabolic features of various tumor types in a non-invasive manner using in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy and improving the feasibility of this technique for clinical application.

Dennis C. Thomas is an MR Imaging scientist with expertise in the field of quantitative imaging. He pursued his PhD studies as a Marie Slodowska-Curie early-stage researcher at Forschungszentrum Jülich and focused on novel quantitative MRI techniques to develop new biomarkers of the diseased brain. His doctoral work was part of the EU-funded “project B-Q Minded” which focused on the advancement of Q-MRI techniques, especially in its application in the clinic. Dennis’ current research interests include applications of robust Q-MRI techniques in the clinic and the development of reliable and reproducible MRI biomarkers of brain tumors.


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X‑nuclei (1H, 31P, 19F) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on 3T clinical and 7T preclinical scanners using volume and surface coils

Quantitative MRI: T1 and T2* relaxometry (qT1 & qT2*) and Water content mapping (PD)