Diffusion radiomics analysis of intratumoral heterogeneity in a murine prostate cancer model following radiotherapy: Pixelwise correlation with histology

To investigate the biological meaning of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in tumors following radiotherapy.

Five mice bearing TRAMP-C1 tumor were half-irradiated with a dose of 15 Gy. Diffusion-weighted images, using multiple b-values from 0 to 3000 s/mm(2) , were acquired at 7T on day 6. ADC values calculated by a two-point estimate and monoexponential fitting of signal decay were compared between the irradiated and nonirradiated regions of the tumor. Pixelwise ADC maps were correlated with histological metrics including nuclear counts, nuclear sizes, nuclear spaces, cytoplasmic spaces, and extracellular spaces.

As compared with the nonirradiated region, the irradiated region exhibited significant increases in ADC, extracellular space, and nuclear size, and a significant decrease in nuclear counts (P < 0.001 for all). Optimal ADC to differentiate the irradiated from nonirradiated regions was achieved at a b-value of 800 s/mm(2) by the two-point method and monoexponential curve fitting. ADC positively correlated with extracellular spaces (r = 0.74) and nuclear sizes (r = 0.72), and negatively correlated with nuclear counts (r = -0.82, P < 0.001 for all).

As a radiomic biomarker, ADC maps correlating with histological metrics pixelwise could be a means of evaluating tumor heterogeneity and responses to radiotherapy.

1 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2017.

Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI. 2017 Feb 08 [Epub ahead of print]

Yu-Chun Lin, Gigin Lin, Ji-Hong Hong, Yi-Ping Lin, Fang-Hsin Chen, Shu-Hang Ng, Chun-Chieh Wang

Department of Medical Imaging and Intervention, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou, Taiwan., Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, Chang Gung University, Taiwan., Department of Radiation Oncology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkou and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


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