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Translational Research in Radiology: the Clinical Potential of Molecular Imaging of Pulmonary Fibrosis

In This Video

  • The Translational Research in Radiology webinar series at Massachusetts General Hospital brings together researchers developing novel imaging tools and physicians who either are or might soon be using those tools in the clinic
  • In this webinar, Peter Caravan, PhD, and Sydney Montesi, MD, discuss the potential of a molecular imaging probe developed in Dr. Caravan's lab for use with positron emission tomography
  • Dr. Caravan and Dr. Montesi previously collaborated on a study of the efficacy of the probe for tracking disease activity and response to treatment in pulmonary fibrosis and other conditions

In this TRANSLATE (Translational Research in Radiology) webinar, Peter Caravan, PhD, director of the Caravan lab in the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and co-director of the Institute for Innovation in Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Sydney Montesi, MD, clinician-researcher in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Mass General, discuss the potential of molecular imaging of pulmonary fibrosis for managing patients with interstitial lung disease and other clinical applications.

Dr. Caravan's research focuses on developing novel molecular probes and their broad applications in a range of diseases, including pulmonary and other diseases. In 2017, he introduced a probe that can help assess disease activity in patients with lung fibrosis by detecting type I collagen, the main structural component of fibrosis.

Dr. Montesi has collaborated with Dr. Caravan and others in exploring the clinical potential of the new probe—not least, its potential to measure the response to treatment for lung fibrosis.

"This tool has wonderful features that meet a clinical need. Current treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are shown to work on the population level, but we don't know on an individual level how well a patient is responding to treatment," she said in a 2020 article in Advances in Motion. "What's unique about this probe is that we think it's more sensitive to finding freshly synthesized collagen than established collagen. We can use it not so much to stage disease—because we can do that by current techniques—but really to get a sense of disease activity."

Learn more about research in the Department of Radiology

Learn more about the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care


Massachusetts General Hospital researchers use novel PET probe to find type I collagen and identify disease activity in pulmonary fibrosis.


Matthew Rosen, PhD, and Susie Huang, MD, PhD, both researchers in the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital, discuss the possibilities—and a few of the challenges—of translational research in radiology.