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J Clin Oncol. 2006 Jul 10;24(20):3245-51.

Measures of response: RECIST, WHO, and new alternatives.

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Diagnostic Imaging Branch, Cancer Imaging Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) is a widely employed method introduced in 2000 to assess change in tumor size in response to therapy. The simplicity of the technique, however, contrasts sharply with the increasing sophistication of imaging instrumentation. Anatomically based imaging measurement, although supportive of drug development and key to some accelerated drug approvals, is being pressed to improve its methodologic robustness, particularly in the light of more functionally-based imaging that is sensitive to tissue molecular response such as fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography. Nevertheless ready availability of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging machines largely assures anatomically based imaging a continuing role in clinical trials for the foreseeable future. Recent advances in image processing enabled by the computational power of modern clinical scanners open a considerable opportunity to characterize tumor response to therapy as a complement to image acquisition. Various alternative quantitative volumetric approaches have been proposed but have yet to gain wide acceptance by clinical and regulatory communities, nor have these more complex techniques shown incontrovertible evidence of greater reproducibility or predictive value of clinical events and outcome. Unless plans are created for clinical trials that incorporate the design needed to prove the added value and unique clinical utility of these novel approaches, any theoretical benefit of these more elaborate methods could remain unfulfilled.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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