Assessment of the response to treatment of metastases is crucial in daily oncological practice and clinical trials. For soft tissue metastases, this is done using computed tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Positron Emission Tomography (PET) using validated response evaluation criteria. Bone metastases, which frequently represent the only site of metastases, are an exception in response assessment systems, because of the nature of the fixed bony defects, their complexity, which ranges from sclerotic to osteolytic and because of the lack of sensitivity, specificity and spatial resolution of the previously available bone imaging methods, mainly bone scintigraphy. Techniques such as MRI and PET are able to detect the early infiltration of the bone marrow by cancer, and to quantify this infiltration using morphologic images, quantitative parameters and functional approaches. This paper highlights the most recent developments of MRI and PET, showing how they enable early detection of bone lesions and monitoring of their response. It reviews current knowledge, puts the different techniques into perspective, in terms of indications, strengths, weaknesses and complementarity, and finally proposes recommendations for the choice of the most adequate imaging technique.
Keywords: Bone; Cancer; EORTC; Imaging; MRI; Metastases; PET; RECIST; Response; Treatment.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.