Virtual Biopsy in Soft Tissue Sarcoma. How Close Are We?
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A shift in radiology to a data-driven specialty has been unlocked by synergistic developments in imaging biomarkers (IB) and computational science. This is advancing the capability to deliver "virtual biopsies" within oncology. The ability to non-invasively probe tumour biology both spatially and temporally would fulfil the potential of imaging to inform management of complex tumours; improving diagnostic accuracy, providing new insights into inter- and intra-tumoral heterogeneity and individualised treatment planning and monitoring. Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are rare tumours of mesenchymal origin with over 150 histological subtypes and notorious heterogeneity. The combination of inter- and intra-tumoural heterogeneity and the rarity of the disease remain major barriers to effective treatments. We provide an overview of the process of successful IB development, the key imaging and computational advancements in STS including quantitative magnetic resonance imaging, radiomics and artificial intelligence, and the studies to date that have explored the potential biological surrogates to imaging metrics. We discuss the promising future directions of IBs in STS and illustrate how the routine clinical implementation of a virtual biopsy has the potential to revolutionise the management of this group of complex cancers and improve clinical outcomes.
quantitative MRI (qMRI)
radiology pathology correlation
soft tissue sarcoma (STS)
Appl Phys in Clinical MRI
Mol and Systems Oncology
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Frontiers in Oncology, 2022, 12 pp. 892620 -
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA