This thesis describes the assessment of metabolism in the prostate by NMR and MR spectroscopy, PET imaging and quantitative modeling. New insights on metabolism of citrate and molecular interactions concerning citrate are described in the first part of the thesis, next to a quantitative model describing citrate secretion in prostate tissue or cells. These insights on interactions and citrate secretion could be used to monitor changes in citrate metabolism upon malignancy, both looking at interactions and secretion of citrate, and employing labeling of carbons in extracellular citrate as a “QR code” for intracellular metabolism. In the second half of the thesis, pyruvate-lactate metabolism and the correlation with glucose uptake is investigated, alongside methods to improve detection and fitting of low-SNR metabolites in hyperpolarized experiments in vivo. Future experiments with hyperpolarized compounds can benefit from these findings and the improved data analysis method proposed.
Frits van Heijster (1987) studied Chemistry at the Radboud University Nijmegen focusing on NMR spectroscopy (2012). He then started his PhD focusing on hyperpolarization and carbon-13 NMR in biomedical research. In 2019 he moved to Munich to work as postdoctoral researcher at the university clinic of the Technical University of Munich.