for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Benjamin Ellingson, PhD (ucla)
Headshot of Benjamin Ellingson
Benjamin Ellingson



The purpose of this project is to validate a new combined MRI and PET imaging technique as a biomarker or measure of glycolysis in brain tumors. To accomplish this, the investigators propose obtaining image-guided measures of tissue pH and biopsied tissue in tumor areas selected for bulk resection surgery. Investigators will then correlate the imaging measurements with pH, RNA expression, protein expression, and bioenergetics measurements of key glycolytic enzymes.

Official Title

Biologic Association Between Metabolic MR-PET and Tissue Measures of Glycolysis in Brain Tumors Visualization, Quantitation, and Targeting of Infiltrating Glioblastoma Cells With pH Sensitive Amine Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer Magnetic Resonance Imaging-KL2TR001882


Patients who are scheduled for resection of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) as part of standard care will be invited to take part in the study. All patients will undergo FDG-PET scan for the study using standard clinical imaging techniques, along with standard brain MRI plus up to approximately 15 minutes of investigational MR imaging sequences to permit calculation of "glycolytic index" as an experimental GBM imaging biomarker. Prior to bulk tumor resection at the patient's scheduled surgery, pH measurements, using the SoftCell pH probe, will be taken from approximately 3 anatomic sites that have been correlated with the imaging glycolytic index calculation. Following pH measurements, the patient's clinical biopsy/tumor resection will take place as planned for clinical care. Tissue samples resected during the clinical procedure will be obtained and processed using immunohistochemistry techniques for further assessments, including RNA sequencing and bioenergetics analysis.

The current study will investigate the central hypothesis that biopsied tumor tissue undergoing high levels of glycolysis via RNA expression, protein expression, and bioenergetics analyses can be reliably detected, correlates with direct measure of tissue pH, and is strongly associated with a "glycolytic index" created by combining 18F-FDG PET, amine CEST-SAGE-EPI, perfusion MRI and diffusion MRI. In addition, the investigators will investigate whether metabolic differences identified from this imaging modality may identify infiltrating non-enhancing tumor cells.

FDG: 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose fluorodeoxyglucose CEST: chemical exchange saturation transfer SAGE: spin and gradient echo EPI: echo planar imaging IHC: immuno-histochemical rCBF: regional cerebral blood flow rCBV: relative cerebral volume DSC: dynamic susceptibility contrast ADC: apparent diffusion coefficient MCT: Monocarboxylate transporters


Glioblastoma Multiforme, Glycolytic Index, Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor, Glioblastoma, pH Measurement of in vivo tissue


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

You CAN'T join if...

  • Patients who cannot obtain an MRI or FDG PET scan with contrast
  • Those with ferromagnetic implanted devices that might produce a safety hazard (e.g. infusion pumps, pace makers, aneurysm clips, etc.) will be excluded from the study along with subjects with severe claustrophobia or who have severely compromised renal function (GFR < 30).


  • University of California at Los Angeles accepting new patients
    Los Angeles California 90095-1406 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Benjamin Ellingson, PhD (ucla)
    Dr. Ellingson is the Director of MRI Research and a Professor of Radiology, Psychiatry, Bioengineering, and Neurosurgery within the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Phase 1/2 research study
Study Type
Expecting 50 study participants
Last Updated