The potential of hyperpolarised 13C-MRI to target glycolytic tumour core in prostate cancer.

Hyperpolarised [1-13C]pyruvate MRI (HP-13C-MRI) is an emerging metabolic imaging technique that has shown promise for evaluating prostate cancer (PCa) aggressiveness. Accurate tumour delineation on HP-13C-MRI is vital for quantitative assessment of the underlying tissue metabolism. However, there is no consensus on the optimum method for segmenting HP-13C-MRI, and whole-mount pathology (WMP) as the histopathological gold-standard is only available for surgical patients. Although proton MRI can be used for tumour delineation, this approach significantly underestimates tumour volume, and metabolic tumour segmentation based on HP-13C-MRI could provide an important functional metric of tumour volume. In this study, we quantified metabolism using HP-13C-MRI and segmentation approaches based on WMP maps, 1H-MRI-derived T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), and HP-13C-MRI-derived total carbon signal-to-noise ratio maps (TC-SNR) with an SNR threshold of 5.0. 13C-labelled pyruvate SNR, lactate SNR, TC-SNR, and the pyruvate-to-lactate exchange rate constant (kPL) were significantly higher when measured using the TC-SNR-guided approach, which also corresponded to a significantly higher tumour epithelial expression on RNAscope imaging of the enzyme catalysing pyruvate-to-lactate metabolism (lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)). However, linear regression and Bland-Altman analyses demonstrated a strong linear relationship between all three segmentation approaches, which correlated significantly with RNA-scope-derived epithelial LDH expression. These results suggest that standard-of-care T2WI and TC-SNR maps could be used as clinical reference tools for segmenting localised PCa on HP-13C-MRI in the absence of the WMP gold standard. The TC-SNR-guided approach could be used clinically to target biopsies towards highly glycolytic tumour areas and therefore to sample aggressive disease with higher precision. KEY POINTS: • T2WI- and TC-SNR-guided segmentations can be used in all PCa patients and do not explicitly require WMP maps. • Agreement between the three segmentation approaches is biologically validated by their strong relationship with epithelial LDH mRNA expression. • The TC-SNR-guided approach can potentially be used to identify occult disease on 1H-MRI and target the most glycolytically active regions.

European radiology. 2022 Jun 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Nikita Sushentsev, Mary A McLean, Anne Y Warren, Cara Brodie, Julia Jones, Ferdia A Gallagher, Tristan Barrett

Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital and University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 218, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK. ., Department of Radiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital and University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, Box 218, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ, UK., Department of Pathology, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK., Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

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