New Technology Enables Speedier Treatment Decisions For Bowel-Cancer Patients

A standard CT scan (top left) with the tumor outlined in white.
With the TexRAD software applied, healthcare professionals
can analyze the tumor's texture at a fine (red), medium (green)
 and coarse (blue) level. Image courtesy a bowel cancer
case analysis from University College London Hospital.
A new technology helps hospitals make earlier and more accurate treatment decisions and survival assessments for patients with bowel cancer. Bowel cancer kills more than 16,000 people a year in the UK, making it the nation's second-most common cause of cancer death (after lung cancer).

A novel medical-imaging technology, TexRAD, which analyses the texture of tumours, has been shown in trials to enable early diagnosis of those bowel-cancer patients not responding to the standard cancer therapy better than other available tumour markers.

Furthermore, the TexRAD markers showed the ability to assess at an early stage the likelihood of survival, distinguishing patients who will have a good prognosis from those having poor prognosis.
 
Across two separate UK studies, researchers analysed the tumours of 155 bowel-cancer patients.
In a study at University College London Hospitals, researchers analysed baseline PET-CT scans, ie those taken before treatment, and then followed up with the patients for an average of three years later. They found that analysing the texture of the tumours in the initial scans enabled them to accurately predict patient survival.

At Colchester General Hospital, the researchers looked at MR scans taken both before treatment and six weeks after the patients had completed chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and found that the patients whose tumours were less heterogeneous, ie more uniform, in terms of texture parameters six weeks after treatment were more likely to survive longer.
 
Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Rome found that texture analysis provides useful 'imaging biomarkers' that indicate how the tumour is responding to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
 
The findings of the three studies will be presented to a wide international audience of clinicians (radiologists), imaging scientists, healthcare providers and industry at the 100th premier annual scientific meeting and exhibition of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), which takes place in Chicago from 30 November until 5 December.