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The use of molecular imaging combined with genomic techniques to understand the heterogeneity in cancer metastasis

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Ruhe Chowdhury, B Ganeshan, S Irshad, Katherine Lawler, Michel Eisenblaetter, H Milewicz, M Rodriguez-Justo, K Miles, P Ellis, A Groves, S Punwani, Tony Ng

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1038
Early online date17 Apr 2014
E-pub ahead of print17 Apr 2014
PublishedJun 2014

King's Authors


Tumour heterogeneity has, in recent times, come to play a vital role in how we understand and treat cancers; however, the clinical translation of this has lagged behind advances in research. Although significant advancements in oncological management have been made, personalized care remains an elusive goal. Inter- and intratumour heterogeneity, particularly in the clinical setting, has been difficult to quantify and therefore to treat. The histological quantification of heterogeneity of tumours can be a logistical and clinical challenge. The ability to examine not just the whole tumour but also all the molecular variations of metastatic disease in a patient is obviously difficult with current histological techniques. Advances in imaging techniques and novel applications, alongside our understanding of tumour heterogeneity, have opened up a plethora of non-invasive biomarker potential to examine tumours, their heterogeneity and the clinical translation. This review will focus
on how various imaging methods that allow for quantification of metastatic tumour heterogeneity, along with the potential of developing imaging, integrated with other in vitro diagnostic approaches such as genomics and exosome analyses, have the potential role as a non-invasive biomarker for guiding the treatment algorithm.

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