Assessment of liver tumor response to therapy: Role of quantitative imaging

Fernanda D. Gonzalez-Guindalini, Marcos P.F. Botelho, Carla B. Harmath, Kumaresan Sandrasegaran, Frank H. Miller, Riad Salem, Vahid Yaghmai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Quantitative imaging is the analysis of retrieved numeric data from images with the goal of reducing subjective assessment. It is an increasingly important radiologic tool to assess treatment response in oncology patients. Quantification of response to therapy depends on the tumor type and method of treatment. Anatomic imaging biomarkers that quantify liver tumor response to cytotoxic therapy are based on temporal change in the size of the tumors. Anatomic biomarkers have been incorporated into the World Health Organization criteria and the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) versions 1.0 and 1.1. However, the development of novel therapies with different mechanisms of action, such as antiangiogenesis or radioembolization, has required new methods for measuring response to therapy. This need has led to development of tumor- or therapy-specific guidelines such as the Modified CT Response Evaluation (Choi) Criteria for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, the European Association for Study of the Liver (EASL) criteria, and modified RECIST for hepatocellular carcinoma, among many others. The authors review the current quantification criteria used in the evaluation of treatment response in liver tumors, summarizing their indications, advantages, and disadvantages, and discuss future directions with newer methods that have the potential for assessment of treatment response. Knowledge of these quantitative methods is important to facilitate pivotal communication between oncologists and radiologists about cancer treatment, with benefit ultimately accruing to the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1781-1800
Number of pages20
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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