Lactate Imaging: a study to see if measuring lactate levels in cancers can help to show if treatment is working

This trial is now closed. It is no longer recruiting participants.

Purpose of trial

The aim of the study is to find a new way of testing whether treatment is working using lactate levels.

Lactic acid is produced by cancer cells when they are growing and it can be measured using a lactate test. In this study, the researchers are using a technique called ‘magnetic resonance spectroscopy’ (similar to magnetic resonance scanning, MRI) to measure lactate levels in tumours before and after treatment. They want to see if this measurement can reliably show doctors whether or not a treatment is working.


There are 4 different groups in this study and 3 of them are recruiting people with lymphoma:

  • You may be in group 1 if you have lymphoma and are due to have CHOP chemotherapy.
  • You may be in group 2 if you have metastatic colorectal cancer and have been identified for participation in a phase 1 study.
  • You may be in group 3 if you are in another phase 1 trial and having treatment with a drug that is likely to change lactate levels in your lymphoma.
  • You may be in group 4 if you have lymphoma that started in your brain (cerebral lymphoma).

As part of the trial, you have between 2 and 5 MRI scans depending on the cohort you are in. This includes 1 or 2 baseline scans before your treatment starts and between 1 and 3 scans after the start of your treatment. These are no different to any other MRI scan – the doctors carry out extra tests for the magnetic spectroscopy, but you are not aware of them.

As with any MRI scan, you have to remove any metal you are wearing, such as jewellery or belts. You also have to be prepared to lie still for around 40 minutes for each scan.

Who can enter

Your consultant can give you advice on whether this trial might be suitable for you.

Around 90 people are needed for this trial.

You may be able to enter if:

  • You have lymphoma that is due to be treated with CHOP chemotherapy, OR
  • You are having a new targeted treatment as part of another phase 1 trial, OR
  • You have lymphoma that started in your brain (primary cerebral lymphoma) and are having standard chemotherapy.
  • You have at least 1 area of lymphoma that measures more than 2cm across (groups 1 and 3 only).
  • You are over 18.

You will not be able to enter if:

  • You have any metal implants in your body, such as a pacemaker, clips or pins.
  • You are claustrophobic.
  • You cannot lie still for at least 40 minutes.

Further information

More information about this trial is available at