The potential of advanced MR techniques for precision radiotherapy of glioblastoma

Patrick L Y Tang, Alejandra Méndez Romero, Jaap P M Jaspers, Esther A H Warnert
Magma 2022 February 7
As microscopic tumour infiltration of glioblastomas is not visible on conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, an isotropic expansion of 1-2 cm around the visible tumour is applied to define the clinical target volume for radiotherapy. An opportunity to visualize microscopic infiltration arises with advanced MR imaging. In this review, various advanced MR biomarkers are explored that could improve target volume delineation for radiotherapy of glioblastomas. Various physiological processes in glioblastomas can be visualized with different advanced MR techniques. Combining maps of oxygen metabolism (CMRO2 ), relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV), vessel size imaging (VSI), and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) or amide proton transfer (APT) can provide early information on tumour infiltration and high-risk regions of future recurrence. Oxygen consumption is increased 6 months prior to tumour progression being visible on conventional MR imaging. However, presence of the Warburg effect, marking a switch from an infiltrative to a proliferative phenotype, could result in CMRO2 to appear unaltered in high-risk regions. Including information on biomarkers representing angiogenesis (rCBV and VSI) and hypercellularity (ADC) or protein concentration (APT) can omit misinterpretation due to the Warburg effect. Future research should evaluate these biomarkers in radiotherapy planning to explore the potential of advanced MR techniques to personalize target volume delineation with the aim to improve local tumour control and/or reduce radiation-induced toxicity.

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