Unravelling tumour heterogeneity using next-generation imaging: radiomics, radiogenomics, and habitat imaging

Clin Radiol. 2017 Jan;72(1):3-10. doi: 10.1016/j.crad.2016.09.013. Epub 2016 Oct 11.


Tumour heterogeneity in cancers has been observed at the histological and genetic levels, and increased levels of intra-tumour genetic heterogeneity have been reported to be associated with adverse clinical outcomes. This review provides an overview of radiomics, radiogenomics, and habitat imaging, and examines the use of these newly emergent fields in assessing tumour heterogeneity and its implications. It reviews the potential value of radiomics and radiogenomics in assisting in the diagnosis of cancer disease and determining cancer aggressiveness. This review discusses how radiogenomic analysis can be further used to guide treatment therapy for individual tumours by predicting drug response and potential therapy resistance and examines its role in developing radiomics as biomarkers of oncological outcomes. Lastly, it provides an overview of the obstacles in these emergent fields today including reproducibility, need for validation, imaging analysis standardisation, data sharing and clinical translatability and offers potential solutions to these challenges towards the realisation of precision oncology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Gene-Environment Interaction*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Testing / methods*
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Molecular Imaging / methods
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor