MIRACLE – An accessible and affordable virtual biopsy tool that can identify cancer biomarkers and tumor activity without shedding a drop of patient blood

An accessible and affordable virtual biopsy tool that can identify cancer biomarkers and tumor activity without shedding a drop of patient blood

The EU-funded MIRACLE project aims to develop an add-on device for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to enable virtual biopsies, providing information on tumour margins for improving surgery and metabolic information for more effective therapies. This accurate and rapid non-invasive procedure will provide doctors with the information needed to create personalised treatment plans for given patients’ and tumour characteristics. The project partners’ previous research led to the development of an MRI coil for the non-invasive detection of metabolic biomarkers. The new project objective is to develop breast coil hardware and software, using breast cancer as a case study for evaluation.

MIRACLE is developing a first-of-kind add-on device for MRI scanners that will be used to acquire a virtual biopsy of the tumor providing not only structural information on tumor dimensions for (tissue conserving) surgery, but also unique metabolic information on the efficacy of specific systemic therapies. Ultimately, this fully non-invasive, accurate and rapid predictive approach can guide patients to the best fitting treatment plan given their personal circumstances and tumor characteristics.

WaveTronica (WT) together with the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) and Medical University of Lublin (UMLUB) aim to build this future by bringing the first Metabolic MRI-as-a-Service solution to the market. Past projects and research led to the development of a Proof-of-Concept MRI coil capable of detecting metabolic biomarkers non-invasively using the strongest clinically available MRI system, as demonstrated in FET- OPEN-01-2016-2017-801075 – the Non-Invasive-Chemistry-Imaging (NICI) and FET-OPEN-03-2018-2019-2020 – FET Innovation Launchpad – MIRACLE. The MRI coil is a plug-and-play add on for existing MRI machines resulting in an accessible and affordable virtual biopsy tool that can identify cancer biomarkers and tumor activity without shedding a drop of patient blood. This project converts a complex research tool into an accessible diagnostic service (Metabolic MRI-as-a-Service). MIRACLE is supported by the Dutch reimbursement company VGZ, Tesla DC, and oncologists showing there is a strong market demand. Now the challenge lies in bringing the breast coil PoC hardware and software to the next level using breast cancer as a use case.

Breast cancer accounts for 13.3% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in EU-27 countries in 2020

The problem:

  • Breast cancer patients do not benefit from the best treatment strategies tailored to their cancer due to inaccurate preoperative tumor characterization.
  • These patients are susceptible to overtreatment and systemic therapy increases the Symptom Burden (SB) and decreases the Quality of Life (QOL).
  • In advanced breast cancer, the efficacy of clinical chemotherapy standards can be down to 30%

MIRACLE’s Unique Selling Points

  • A fully non-invasive virtual biopsy approach capable of effectively predicting neo-adjuvant chemotherapy efficacy

  • A service approach providing consistent and straightforward analysis results allowing equal care for all

  • A plug-and-play RF coil and software solution adaptable to Philips, Siemens and GE MRI systems

  • A use case in breast cancer that is expandable to various types of solid cancer

MIRACLE: a fully non-invasive preoperative characterization method based on high-field strength (7T) phosphorus signal detection


News about Miracle

  • EIC T2M Venture Building Programme

    WaveTronica joins the EIC T2M Venture Building Programme. Practicing and improving the MIRACLE pitch. Preparing for the next steps! [...]


    The MIRACLE consortium working in Heidelberg for preparation purposes with the MIRACLE coils on the Siemens 7T MAGNETOM MRI. [...]

  • MIRACLE the platform for virtual biopsies; introducing Metabolic MRI-as-a-Service for oncologic care

    Update: First scans with our unilateral breast coil successfully performed at the UMC Utrecht with a Philips high field [...]

  • Metabolic Imaging with RF Antennas to predict Chemotherapy Efficacy

  • Eurostars Project E! 113617 VM-biopsy – Rapid virtual metabolic biopsy for clinical diagnosis.

  • DYNAMIC project