Imaging is key in the accurate monitoring of response to cancer therapies targeting tumour vascularity to inhibit its growth and dissemination. Dynamic contrast enhanced ultrasound (DCE ultrasound) is a quantitative method with the advantage of being non-invasive, widely available, portable, cost effective, highly sensitive and reproducible using agents that are truly intravascular. Under the auspices of the initiative of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Imaging Network, bringing together experts from the UK, Europe and North America for a 2-day workshop in May 2010, this consensus paper aims to provide guidance on the use of DCE ultrasound in the measurement of tumour vascular support in clinical trials.
• DCE ultrasound can quantify and extract specific blood flow parameters, such as flow velocity, relative vascular volume and relative blood flow rate.
• DCE ultrasound can be performed repeatedly and is therefore ideally suited for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies evaluating vascular-targeted drugs.
• DCE ultrasound provides a reproducible method of assessing the vascular effects of therapy in pre-clinical and early clinical trials, which is easily translatable into routine clinical practice.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Imaging Steering Committee and Secretariat for organising the two-day workshop in May 2010 and all the speakers and delegates who contributed to this initiative. The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre Initiative is jointly funded by Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research in England and the Departments of Health for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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