Decoding of the genomic activity of human liver cancers by noninvasive imaging.
Gene expression patterns of cancer can reveal its etiology, prognosis and response to therapy. However, current methods of molecular profiling require invasive surgeries for tissue procurement and specialized equipment, thus limiting their routine use. Moreover, current profiling methods provide only single snapshots in time because they are destructive (i.e. cells must be disintegrated to extract nucleic acids or proteins for analysis). The outlined technology uses noninvasive computed tomography (CT) to systematically correlate dynamic imaging traits with the global gene expression programs of primary human liver cancer.
· Use of imaging traits to reconstruct the global gene expression programs of cancer, thereby creating a molecular portrait of the tumor.
· Identification of biological processes based on specific gene expression programs which underlie specific imaging traits.
· Supplementation to histological examination for cancer diagnosis.
· Frequent molecular profiling for personalized medicine.
· Noninvasive (and therefore with no risk of pain, infection or complications that accompany tissue procurement for microarray analysis).
· Fast, repeatable and in the native anatomic context of the patient.
· May be applied to any disease state and imaging modality (such as positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or other imaging methods).
The present technology utilizes imaging traits to predict gene expression patterns in human cancers, based on the principle that imaging traits of tissues reflect the dynamic and physiologic interplay of parenchymal cells, blood vessels and stroma. Using this technology, it is shown that much of the global gene expression profiles of liver cancer are systematically correlated with their imaging features. These results demonstrate that existing imaging technology may be used to reconstruct the molecular anatomy of human liver cancer and potentially other diseases in a noninvasive fashion.