Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation
IBRI Laboratory
Department of Image-based Medicine

Michio Senda, MD, PhD

Molecular Imaging Group

Group Leader : Michio Senda
We are conducting various studies and clinical trials using PET method, in which a radioactive PET drug is administered to the subject and its distribution is imaged with a PET camera.
1. Study on Alzheimer’s disease using PET
PET is considered a valuable tool for early and/or differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and its treatment evaluation. For example, AD is characterized by hypofunction in specific brain areas, which is visualized by PET imaging with FDG, a tracer of glucose metabolism, as decreased radioactivity uptake. AD is also characterized by deposition of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain long before the onset of the disease, which is considered essential to the development of AD and is visualized by PET imaging with PiB, a tracer binding to beta-amyloid. IBRI plays an important role as PET-QC core in “J-ADNI” (Japanese Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative), a national project on imaging and biomarkers for AD.
2. Study on tumors using various PET imaging agents
While FDG is routinely used for diagnostic PET scans for tumors, IBRI is using other PET tracers that can visualize various biological aspects of tumors for research to explore their validity for prediction and evaluation of treatment effect. These include fluorothymidine (FLT) for visualizing cell proliferation, fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) for visualizing hypoxia which is a potential predictor of treatment resistance, and fluoroestradiol (FES) for imaging estrogen receptors.
3. Study on clinical pharmacology using PET
We are investigating biodistribution of novel PET imaging agents to assess the pharmacokinetics. We are also evaluating pharmacological effect of therapeutic drugs using PET.
4. PET clinical trials
To facilitate regulatory approval and clinical use of new drugs, we are collaborating with industry to perform clinical trials of novel PET diagnostics and those of therapeutics using novel PET imaging agents for subject selection and treatment evaluation.

FDG-PET images of cerebral glucose metabolism

Normal image
(Healthy individual)
  Abnormal image
(Alzheimer's disease)

PiB-PET images of beta-amyloid

Amyloid negative image
(Healthy individual)
  Amyloid positive image
(Alzheimer's disease)
Radiation Oncology Group

Group Leader : Masaki Kokubo
Since 2002, the Radiation Oncology Group has been working with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kyoto University on the development of cutting-edge radiotherapy devices that can be advantageous for next-generation cancer treatments. Our efforts have resulted in the invention of Vero4DRT, the world’s first high-precision radiotherapy system that utilizes four-dimensional tracking. In 2011, we began using this revolutionary system for the dynamic-tracking therapy of lung and pancreatic cancer. Our group will continue to research and develop innovative radiotherapy methods such as the vero4DRT.

Corneal Endothelium Regeneration Research Team
Team Leader : Michio Senda

GMP Hot Laboratory

We are working to establish a safe and effective method of treatment with sheets made from cultured human corneal endothelial cells (HCEC), and to clinically apply it. Corneal grafting as a treatment for disorders of the corneal endothelium is presently plagued with problems such as poor postoperative vision and a lack of donors. HCEC sheets for hundreds of grafts can be obtained from a single donor. These extremely thin and highly transparent sheets are anticipated to improve vision for patients with corneal endothelium disorders.