This work explores what Fast Field-Cycling Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (FFC-NMR) relaxometry brings for the study of sarcoma to guide future in vivo analyses of patients. We present the results of an ex vivo pilot study involving 10 cases of biopsy-proven sarcoma and we propose a quantitative method to analyse 1H NMR relaxation dispersion profiles based on a model-free approach describing the main dynamical processes in the tissues and assessing the amplitude of the Quadrupole Relaxation Enhancement effects due to 14N. This approach showed five distinct groups of dispersion profiles indicating five discrete categories of sarcoma, with differences attributable to microstructure and rigidity. Data from tissues surrounding sarcomas indicated very significant variations with the proximity to tumour, which may be attributed to varying water content but also to tissue remodelling processes due to the sarcoma. This pilot study illustrates the potential of FFC relaxometry for the detection and characterisation of sarcoma.
Bibliographical noteThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 668119 (project “IDentIFY”). This work received support from the EURELAX COST Action CA15209, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The authors would like to thank Professor David Lurie for his continuous support.
- biological physics
- biophysical methods
- bone cancer
- characterization and analytical techniques
- molecular biophysics
- structure of solids and liquids