An Investigation of Brain Tumor Metabolism in Patients Undergoing Surgical Resection

Study Purpose

The study is designed to use infusion of a non-radioactive, naturally occurring isotope of glucose (13C) in patients undergoing surgical resection for a newly identified brain mass to obtain the metabolic phenotype of the tumor, and correlate it with the histopathological diagnosis. In each patient, 13C NMR spectral analysis of tumor extracts will be obtained after intraoperative infusion of [U-13C]glucose or [1,2-13C]glucose. Whenever feasible, patients will undergo 3 preoperative imaging studies

  • - 18FDG-PET, diffusion tensor imaging with 1H-spectroscopy on 3T MR scanner, and ultra high resolution MR imaging on the 7T MR scanner.
The results of these imaging studies will be correlated with the metabolic phenotype to generate a comprehensive non-invasive view of the tumor with the goal of identifying infiltrative, metabolically active tumor cells within the brain. In addition, a comprehensive molecular profile of the tumor will be obtained and enable a genotype-metabolic phenotype comparative analysis. Correlative Translational Research The investigators will obtain tumor tissue from each patient for comprehensive molecular analysis (array CGH, expression profiling, methylation profiling) which will be correlated with tumor histology, the metabolites identified by 1H-MR spectroscopy and the 13Cglucose metabolic profile. Patients will be followed at designated time points along their treatment course to obtain information about ongoing treatment and response, time to tumor progression and overall survival. These parameters will be used in correlational analysis with the metabolic phenotype.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Male or female, any age and any racial or ethnic group.
  • - Spanish-speaking patients will be eligible.
  • - Pre-operative brain MR imaging suggestive of a brain tumor or pre-operative imaging showing a tumor or biopsy of a tumor mass prior to planned resection of the mass.
  • - Patient able and willing to provide informed consent or Legal parent or guardian willing and able to provide informed consent for patient under age 18.
  • - Karnofsky Performance status > 70% - Negative serum pregnancy test or child bearing potential terminated by surgery, radiation, menopause or current use of two approved methods of birth control.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • - Patient or legal parent/guardian unable to provide informed consent.
  • - Karnofsky Performance status < 70% - Patients who are claustrophobic or have other contraindications to MRI, such as impanted pacemaker device vascular clips, surgical clips, prosthetic valves, pacemakers, otologic implants.
  • - NYHA class III and IV congestive heart failure.
  • - Psychiatric or addictive disorders that preclude obtaining informed consent.
  • - Unstable angina.
  • - Pregnant or lactating women.
- Women of childbearing potential who refuse a pregnancy test (performed during screening)

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Elizabeth Maher, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator Affiliation University of Texas
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Brain Mass
Additional Details

The study is designed to obtain tumor samples from patients undergoing clinically indicated surgical resection of a brain tumor or primary non-CNS tumor after infusion of 13C-glucose, 13C-acetate or 13C-glucose and 13C-acetate. Patients with a brain mass identified on brain imaging and who need surgical resection of the mass will be eligible for this metabolism study. Eligible study patients will be screened, recruited, and enrolled at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, University Hospital

  • - Zale Lipshy and University Hospital - St. Paul, Children's Medical Center of Dallas as well as at Parkland Health and Hospital System.
We will consent 60 patients, including projected screen failures and early withdrawals, and anticipate that we will study 25 patients in this clinical protocol. Once enrolled, patients will undergo a series of preoperative brain imaging studies including 3T MRI with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and 1H-MR spectroscopy, 7T MRI and a brain 18FDG-PET scan within 7-14 days of the scheduled operation. Of these studies, only the 3T MRI is standard of care. The DTI and 1H-MR spectroscopy are additional scanning sequences that are being done for research purposes. Similarly, the 7T MRI and the 18FDG-PET are being done for research purposes only. On the day of surgery, the patient will have a peripheral IV started while waiting in the preoperative holding area and a 20% solution of either [U-13C]glucose and/or [1,2-13C]acetate (to be determined for each individual patient by the PI) will be infused at a rate of 4g/hr for a maximum of 4 hours. During the infusion period, 4 timed blood samples will be collected for NMR analysis of 13C-glucose in the blood. The infusion will continue until the tumor has been resected and samples have been collected and flash frozen for 13C-NMR spectral analysis and molecular analyses. The infusion and tumor collection for 13C-NMR analysis is being done for research purposes only. However, the remainder of the neurosurgical operative and post-operative procedures will be followed according to standard practice. The patient will be seen 10-14 days after surgery for a follow up visit at which time an assessment of adverse events will be performed. Thereafter, every 6 months for 5 years or until death, the patient will be contacted and data regarding treatment, responses, and tumor progression will be collected for correlative analysis.

Arms & Interventions


Experimental: surgical resection of a brain tumor

The patient will undergo surgical removal of the tumor after infusion of 13C-glucose using standard neurosurgical technique, including frameless stereotaxy for surgical navigation, and microsurgical technique. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Procedure: - surgical resection of a brain tumor

The patient will undergo surgical removal of the tumor after infusion of 13C-glucose using standard neurosurgical technique, including frameless stereotaxy for surgical navigation, and microsurgical technique.

Contact a Trial Team

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University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, Texas




University of Texas Southwestern

Dallas, Texas, 75390

Site Contact

Elizabeth Maher, MD, PhD


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