New strategy for monitoring targeted therapy: molecular imaging
Fei-Fei Teng, Xue Meng, Xin-Dong Sun, Jin-Ming Yu
Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong University, Jinan, People's Republic of China
Abstract: Targeted therapy is becoming an increasingly important component in the treatment of cancer. How to accurately monitor targeted therapy has been crucial in clinical practice. The traditional approach to monitor treatment through imaging has relied on assessing the change of tumor size by refined World Health Organization criteria, or more recently, by the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors. However, these criteria, which are based on the change of tumor size, show some limitations for evaluating targeted therapy. Currently, genetic alterations are identified with prognostic as well as predictive potential concerning the use of molecularly targeted drugs. Conversely, considering the limitations of invasiveness and the issue of expression heterogeneity, molecular imaging is better able to assay in vivo biologic processes noninvasively and quantitatively, and has been a particularly attractive tool for monitoring treatment in clinical cancer practice. This review focuses on the applications of different kinds of molecular imaging including positron emission tomography-, magnetic resonance imaging-, ultrasonography-, and computed tomography-based imaging strategies on monitoring targeted therapy. In addition, the key challenges of molecular imaging are addressed to successfully translate these promising techniques in the future.
Keywords: molecular imaging, targeted therapy, PET, MRI, US, CT