15th European Molecular Imaging Meeting
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Mass Spectrometry

Session chair: Gregory Hamm (London, UK); Nina Ogrinc (Lille, France)
Shortcut: SG 07
Date: Tuesday, 25 August, 2020, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Session type: Study Group Meeting

Study group sessions are organized by the group leadership

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Abstract/Video opens by clicking at the talk title.

5:30 p.m. SG 07-01

MSI study group introduction by the Chair

Gregory Hamm1

1 astrazeneca, London, United Kingdom

Learning Objective




Relevant Publications

Keywords: mass spectrometry imaging
5:40 p.m. SG07-02

Mass Spectrometry Imaging:an integral tool in a multimodal imaging pipeline for acceleration of disease understanding and drug development

Philippa J. Hart1, Isabel Peset-Martin1, Michael Eyres1, Irma Berrueta Razo2, Rebecca Morgan3, Ekta Patel1, Jennifer Ashworth3, Adam McMahon2, Cathy Merry3, Gayle Marshall1

1 Medicines Discovery Catapult, Discovery Science and Technology, Cheshire, United Kingdom
2 University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
3 University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, United Kingdom


A great many questions are posed during the course of drug discovery and development, both in relation to disease understanding; therapeutic action; and biological response. To ensure success in clinical translation, or earlier failure of ineffective drugs it is important to improve the quality and depth of information obtained earlier in the drug discovery process. At MDC a broad range of technologies are applied to improve and deliver on in-vitro assays, preclinical in-vivo/ex-vivo studies and analysis of patient tissue. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) can be used as a standalone contributor to these experiments, but also as an integral part of a more comprehensive workflow.
The combination of alternative imaging strategies provides additional spatial information, for example the very highly resolved immunofluorescence images can serve to provide intracellular localisation of labelled species. Different imaging strategies are also capable of providing localisation of differing molecular species.  Some of the main strengths of mass spectrometry imaging lie in its ability to take a largely untargeted approach; detect smaller endogenous molecules for biomarker and characterisation studies; and to elucidate the distribution of unlabelled drug compounds and their metabolites simultaneously.
This presentation will provide examples of how MSI may be used in conjunction with other imaging modalities to aid the drug discovery process. This includes analysis of cell-based platforms, such as surface grown cells, hydrogels and organoids; ex-vivo preclinical and clinical tissue sections.

Keywords: Mass spectrometry imaging, MALDI, DESI, multimodal imaging, drug discovery
5:55 p.m. SG07-03

Measuring the spatial and temporal dynamics of cancer metabolism using PET/MR and MS imaging to understand the consequences of metabolic heterogeneity in vivo

David Y. Lewis1, 2

1 Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Molecular Imaging Laboratory, Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 University of Glasgow, Institute of Cancer Sciences, Glasgow, United Kingdom


Cancer heterogeneity in is a major contributor to drug resistance and therapy failure.  However developing an understanding of cancer heterogeneity has been as much a technical as a scientific challenge.  Heterogeneous metabolism between and within tumours can be studied using in vivo imaging methods like PET or ex vivo with mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). Despite this very few studies exist combining these technologies to determine the whether complementary information can be gained from each modality. 

To address these challenges, we compared spatial regional sampling to metabolic heterogeneity determined with MSI to understand the information gained from mapping metabolism at high resolution.  We identified two distinct metabolic subtypes of lung cancer using dual metabolic tracer PET imaging.  These metabolic subtypes have distinct biological pathway activation underlying widespread transcriptional and proteomics remodelling.  We use non-invasive metabolic imaging to monitor the early and late metabolic responses to therapy to illuminate the response of each subtype to treatment.

The complementary role of in vivo PET imaging and MSI for discovering metabolic vulnerabilities and developing new cancer diagnostics will be explored.

AcknowledgmentFunded by Cancer Research UK
[1] Witney, T. H. and D. Y. Lewis (2019). Imaging Cancer Metabolism with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Cancer Metabolism, Humana Press, New York, NY: 29-44.
[2] Lewis, D. Y., et al. (2015). "Imaging tumor metabolism using positron emission tomography." Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.) 21(2): 129-136.
[3] Lewis, D. Y., et al. (2014). "Late imaging with [1-11C] acetate improves detection of tumor fatty acid synthesis with PET." Journal of Nuclear Medicine 55(7): 1144-1149.
Keywords: PET, metabolism, MSI, cancer
6:10 p.m. SG07-04

Correlated Multimodal Imaging (CMI) – Bioimaging Austria and COMULIS at TU Wien

Martina Marchetti-Deschmann1

1 Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria


Imaging a specimen with two or more complementary modalities creates an informative, composite view of a sample that spans all relevant resolution ranges. At TU Wien we test combinations of imaging technologies not combined so far for their potential to generate new, yet unknown information for a more comprehensive, holistic view of a sample (i.e. MALDI/DESI/SIMS; µXRF; FTIR/Raman; PET/MRI/CT; AFM/EM). This will give us in the end a better understanding of underlying biological mechanisms for certain diseases and biological activities. Our research interests at TU Wien are fueled by national and international activities in the field of CMI.

This talk will introduce you to COMULIS (Correlated Multimodal Imaging in Life Sciences) a COST Action fueling and promoting urgently needed collaborations in the field of CMI, paving the way for technological advancements and implementation as a versatile tool in biological and preclinical research. The scientific head of COMULIS is also spear-heading Austrian Bioimaging, the official Euro-Bioimaging Initiative of Austria. Technological pipelines will be introduced to the audience and show cases of successful pipelines outlined.

Keywords: comulis, Bioimaging Austria
6:25 p.m. SG 07-05

Overview of M4I and application in the cardiovascular field

Berta Cillero Pastor1

1 Maastricht University, M4I, Maastricht, Netherlands


The leading cause of death worldwide is cardiovascular diseases, in particular ischemic heart disease and stroke. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a widely established technology; however, in the cardiovascular research field, its use is still emerging. The technique has the advantage of analyzing thousands of molecules in tissue sections without prior knowledge while maintaining the spatial information (1).

During my talk I will present our current research in the cardiovascular field by using different MS based techniques and several animal models to study biomolecular changes during myocardial infarct.


The work was performed as part of the M4I research program that was financially supported by the Dutch Province of Limburg through the “LINK” program and by the MUMC institutional grant for clinical collaborative research.

1 Mezger, S.T.P., Mingels, A.M.A., Bekers, O. et al. Trends in mass spectrometry imaging for cardiovascular diseases. Anal Bioanal Chem 411, 3709–3720 (2019). 
Keywords: MSI, heart, cardiovascular