Hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy treatments (SBRT) have demonstrated impressive results for the treatment of a variety of solid tumors. The role of tumor supporting vasculature damage in treatment outcome for SBRT has been intensely debated and studied. Fast, non-invasive, longitudinal assessments of tumor vasculature would allow for thorough investigations of vascular changes correlated with SBRT treatment response. In this paper, we present a novel theranostic system which incorporates a fluorescence molecular imager into a commercial, preclinical, microCT-guided, irradiator and was designed to quantify tumor vascular response (TVR) to targeted radiotherapy. This system overcomes the limitations of single-timepoint imaging modalities by longitudinally assessing spatiotemporal differences in intravenously-injected ICG kinetics in tumors before and after high-dose radiation. Changes in ICG kinetics were rapidly quantified by principle component (PC) analysis before and two days after 10 Gy targeted tumor irradiation. A classifier algorithm based on PC data clustering identified pixels with TVR. Results show that two days after treatment, a significant delay in ICG clearance as measured by exponential decay (40.5± 16.1% P = 0.0405 Paired t-test n = 4) was observed. Changes in the mean normalized first and second PC feature pixel values (PC1 PC2) were found (P = 0.0559, 0.0432 paired t-test), suggesting PC based analysis accurately detects changes in ICG kinetics. The PC based classification algorithm yielded spatially-resolved TVR maps. Our first-of-its-kind theranostic system, allowing automated assessment of TVR to SBRT, will be used to better understand the role of tumor perfusion in metastasis and local control.
- Fluorescence molecular imaging
- preclinical imaging
- principal component analysis
- radiation therapy
- stereotactic body radiotherapy treatments
- tumor vascular response