Imaging intratumor heterogeneity: role in therapy response, resistance, and clinical outcome.
AffiliationCRUK-EPSRC Cancer Imaging Centre in Cambridge and Manchester, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
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AbstractTumors exhibit genomic and phenotypic heterogeneity, which has prognostic significance and may influence response to therapy. Imaging can quantify the spatial variation in architecture and function of individual tumors through quantifying basic biophysical parameters such as CT density or MRI signal relaxation rate; through measurements of blood flow, hypoxia, metabolism, cell death, and other phenotypic features; and through mapping the spatial distribution of biochemical pathways and cell signaling networks using PET, MRI, and other emerging molecular imaging techniques. These methods can establish whether one tumor is more or less heterogeneous than another and can identify subregions with differing biology. In this article, we review the image analysis methods currently used to quantify spatial heterogeneity within tumors. We discuss how analysis of intratumor heterogeneity can provide benefit over more simple biomarkers such as tumor size and average function. We consider how imaging methods can be integrated with genomic and pathology data, instead of being developed in isolation. Finally, we identify the challenges that must be overcome before measurements of intratumoral heterogeneity can be used routinely to guide patient care.
CitationImaging intratumor heterogeneity: role in therapy response, resistance, and clinical outcome. 2015, 21 (2):249-57 Clin Cancer Res
JournalClinical Cancer Research