Researchers have used positron emission tomography (PET) to successfully identify genetic cell mutations that can cause lung cancer. The research, published in the featured article of the April 2017 issue of "The Journal of Nuclear Medicine," shows that an advanced image analysis technique, radiomics, can non-invasively identify underlying cell mutations in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The characteristics of metabolic tumors have been quantified by PET radiomics, but little is known about the relationship between these characteristics, or phenotypes, and the underlying mutations that cause them. This information is key to precision medicine--selecting the therapy that will work best for a particular patient.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the relationship between somatic mutations and the metabolic phenotypes, which may provide valuable information for developing non-invasive imaging biomarkers for determining mutation status," explains Stephen Yip, PhD, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.