In recent years, a new direction in cancer research has emerged that focuses on the relationship between imaging phenotypes and genomics. This direction is referred to as radiogenomics or imaging genomics. The question that subsequently arises is: What is the practical significance of elucidating this relationship in improving cancer patient outcomes. In this article, I address this question. Although I discuss some limitations of the radiogenomic approach, and describe scenarios in which radiogenomic analysis might not be the best choice, I also argue that radiogenomics will play a significant practical role in cancer research. Specifically, I argue that the significance of radiogenomics is largely related to practical limitations of currently available data that often lack complete characterization of the patients and poor integration of individual datasets. Radiogenomics offers a practical way to leverage limited and incomplete data to generate knowledge that might lead to improved decision making, and as a result, improved patient outcomes.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.