Tumor shrinkage is not the only measure of a successful anti-cancer therapy. A University of Colorado Cancer Center article published
in the journal
Frontiers in Oncology
describes a promising alternative: metabolic imaging. Tumors rush their metabolism to grow and proliferate. By recognizing a drug’s ability to stop this energy overuse, doctors may be able to determine a patient’s response to a new, targeted therapy far earlier and with far more precision than watching and waiting for a tumor to shrink.
“What we have been using for decades is called RECIST – it measures the dimensions of a tumor and it does a good job of showing a patient’s response to chemotherapy and radiation. These therapies (called cytotoxic) kill cells and so if they are working, we see the tumor shrink,” says Natalie Serkova, PhD, investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.