AffiliationWolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, University of Manchester, UK.
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AbstractMost tumours, even those of the same histological type and grade, demonstrate considerable biological heterogeneity. Variations in genomic subtype, growth factor expression and local microenvironmental factors can result in regional variations within individual tumours. For example, localised variations in tumour cell proliferation, cell death, metabolic activity and vascular structure will be accompanied by variations in oxygenation status, pH and drug delivery that may directly affect therapeutic response. Documenting and quantifying regional heterogeneity within the tumour requires histological or imaging techniques. There is increasing evidence that quantitative imaging biomarkers can be used in vivo to provide important, reproducible and repeatable estimates of tumoural heterogeneity. In this article we review the imaging methods available to provide appropriate biomarkers of tumour structure and function. We also discuss the significant technical issues involved in the quantitative estimation of heterogeneity and the range of descriptive metrics that can be derived. Finally, we have reviewed the existing clinical evidence that heterogeneity metrics provide additional useful information in drug discovery and development and in clinical practice.
CitationQuantifying heterogeneity in human tumours using MRI and PET. 2012, 48 (4):447-55 Eur J Cancer
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer