Medicine (St Vincent's) - Theses

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    Bioimaging in colorectal cancer - prediction of response to neoadjuvant treatment
    Memon, Sameer ( 2015)
    Over the last decade the management of colorectal cancer has changed significantly with the benefits of neoadjuvant therapies and new adjuvant treatments becoming apparent. Surgical strategies have also evolved with initial evidence that some patients can be successfully managed with local excision or omission of any surgery at all, resulting in a shift towards the individualisation of cancer management. The management of rectal cancer is based on primary staging assessment which relies on imaging techniques such as CT, MRI and ERUS. Recent advances in technology have improved the accuracy and widened the applications of these techniques. With the progress in medical and surgical treatments for rectal cancer, the optimal management of rectal cancer has become more complex. The evolving ability to tailor optimal treatment to the individual has created new roles for imaging such as prediction of response to treatment, restaging with assessment of response to treatment and prediction of prognosis. Consequently, prediction of response will become an important component of modern pre-operative assessment of rectal cancer to optimise individualisation of medical and surgical treatment. Beyond the established role of primary staging of malignancies, the role of conventional imaging techniques in re-staging following neoadjuvant treatment may be of increasing importance. Novel functional imaging techniques such as FDG-PET, DW (diffusion weighted) MRI are also emerging, the roles of which are yet to be determined. This thesis will examine the current status of bio-imaging and explore new imaging techniques in rectal cancer. At the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, we have been routinely performing staging and restaging imaging with CT, MRI and PET for the last 5 years which has resulted in a cohort of patients in whom these imaging techniques can be evaluated. This thesis also aims to evaluate a recent and evolving functional imaging technique- DW-MRI, in the prediction of response of rectal cancer to chemo-radiation.