Integrative radiogenomics for virtual biopsy and treatment monitoring in ovarian cancer

Insights Imaging. 2020 Aug 17;11(1):94. doi: 10.1186/s13244-020-00895-2.


Background: Ovarian cancer survival rates have not changed in the last 20 years. The majority of cases are High-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOCs), which are typically diagnosed at an advanced stage with multiple metastatic lesions. Taking biopsies of all sites of disease is infeasible, which challenges the implementation of stratification tools based on molecular profiling.

Main body: In this review, we describe how these challenges might be overcome by integrating quantitative features extracted from medical imaging with the analysis of paired genomic profiles, a combined approach called radiogenomics, to generate virtual biopsies. Radiomic studies have been used to model different imaging phenotypes, and some radiomic signatures have been associated with paired molecular profiles to monitor spatiotemporal changes in the heterogeneity of tumours. We describe different strategies to integrate radiogenomic information in a global and local manner, the latter by targeted sampling of tumour habitats, defined as regions with distinct radiomic phenotypes.

Conclusion: Linking radiomics and biological correlates in a targeted manner could potentially improve the clinical management of ovarian cancer. Radiogenomic signatures could be used to monitor tumours during the course of therapy, offering additional information for clinical decision making. In summary, radiogenomics may pave the way to virtual biopsies and treatment monitoring tools for integrative tumour analysis.

Keywords: Ovarian cancer; Radiogenomics; Radiomics; Tumour habitats; Virtual biopsies.

Publication types

  • Review