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Oncol Rep. 2017 Mar;37(3):1337-1346. doi: 10.3892/or.2017.5420. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Radiological biomarkers for assessing response to locoregional therapies in hepatocellular carcinoma: From morphological to functional imaging (Review).

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Department of Radiology, Shanghai Chest Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200030, P.R. China.
Radiation Oncology Center, The 1st Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310000, P.R. China.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, P.R. China.
Department of Radiology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai 200032, P.R. China.


Many hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients do not qualify for curative surgical intervention and are instead treated with locoregional therapies (LRTs) including ablative and endovascular therapies. Assessment of imaging response is essential in the management of HCC for determining efficacy of therapy and as a surrogate marker for improved survival. The established morphological image biomarkers for tumor burden measurement continue to be applied, as size measurement can easily be used in clinical practice. However, in the setting of liver-directed LRTs for HCC, simple tumor morphological changes can be less informative and usually appear later than biologic changes. Functional imaging (such as perfusion and diffusion imaging, PET-CT/MR and MR spectroscopy) has the potential to be a promising technique for assessment of HCC response to LRTs. Although promising, none of these functional imaging biomarkers have gone through all the required steps of standardization and validation and established accepted criteria for clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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