Role of image-guided biopsy and radiomics in the age of precision medicine
Modern oncology requires precise tumor assessment to drive effective therapies. Image-guided biopsies are the current standard of care to characterize molecular alterations safely and effectively, but have inherent limitations due to tumor heterogeneity and accessibility, as well as from procedure related risks. Advancements in radiomics analysis provide the potential to retrieve useful incremental information to characterize molecular alterations from standard imaging data in a cost-effective and non-invasive manner, but currently suffers from lack of validation and standardization. The combination of techniques may provide the optimal solution for patient-tailored care, ultimately through the development of accurate and reliable virtual biopsy. In the advancement towards that goal, image-guided biopsy can prove radiomic suspicions and conversely radiomics can guide image-guided biopsy to improve tissue yield. Joint development of these two methods will improve cancer understanding and patient outcomes.