Beyond RECIST: molecular and functional imaging techniques for evaluation of response to targeted therapy

I. Desar, C. van Herpen, H. van Laarhoven, J. Barentsz, W. Oyen and W. van der Graaf

Department of Medical Oncology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Jun, 2009



The development of targeted therapies is a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancer. By evoking necrosis and cavitation, evaluation based on tumour size alone, as is done in the RECIST criteria, is no longer an adequate method. New molecular and functional imaging techniques are developed. This review focuses on the use of new imaging modalities for the evaluation of treatment response of pathway based targeted therapies. First, the basic principles of functional and molecular imaging modalities are briefly discussed. Thereafter, their clinical application in targeted therapies is correlated to the underlying biological mechanism. In this way, the best method for response evaluation for a new agent can be identified.