19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Radiomics Group

Radiomics Group

Focused on applying imaging biomarkers and radiomics to cancer discovery, our efforts center on advancing precision imaging in personalized medicine to ultimately improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Over the past year, we have fostered further collaborations with additional leading imaging research groups including the Computing Vision Centre (CVC– Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona), and cutting- edge research centers including the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research (IDIBELL), in Barcelona, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), Heidelberg, the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Institute, Cardiff University, Lisbon Champalimaud Foundation and the New York University School of Medicine.

Continuing our collaboration with VHIO’s Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) – CaixaResearch, we have developed a CT-radiomics signature in order to better characterize response to immunotherapy (published in Radiology). Thanks to the support received through an AstraZeneca Proof of Concept Award, we have recently initiated the PREDICT prospective study of CT and multiparametric MRI- radiomics to quantify changes in tumor cellularity and vascularization as a biomarker of response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

CRIS Cancer Foundation has awarded Raquel Perez-Lopez with a Research Talent Award. This will fuel her research aimed at improving cancer patient selection for immunotherapy and better understanding differential responses to immune-checkpoint inhibitors. We are also very grateful to the FERO Foundation for its support that will enable us to apply deep-learning models to medical imaging for a deeper understanding of tumor immunophenotypes.

We are also exploring new diffusion-weighted MRI protocols to evaluate biological-specific metrics regarding tissue cell-density and cell-size in the liver. We envision the metrics derived from this new assay will have crucial applications as non-invasive biomarkers in cancer.

Raquel Perez-Lopez
Group Leader
  • Provide expertise in engineering and bioinformatics for the development and clinical qualification of quantitative imaging biomarkers for precision medicine to improve outcomes for cancer patients.
  • Use functional imaging for optimizing drug development through clinical trials.
  • Integrate radiomics and genomics in translational studies towards a deeper understanding of tumor evolution and mechanisms of resistance to anti-cancer therapies.
  • Optimize and standardize imaging acquisition protocols.
  • Develop and implement computational models for advanced image processing.

Figure: DW microstructural MRI metrics provide biological-specific metrics that offer sensitivity to tumorigenic processes in the liver such as metastases.

Most relevant scientific publications

  • Grussu, F; et al. Diffusion MRI signal cumulants and hepatocyte microstructure at fixed diffusion time: insights from simulations, 9.4T imaging and histology. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2022. doi: 10.1002/mrm.29174 (en prensa).
  • Pons-Escoda A, García-Ruiz A, Naval-Baudin P, Grussu F, Fernández JJS, Simóo AC, Sarróo NV, Fernández-Coello A, Bruna J, Cos M, Pérez-López R, Majos C. Voxel-level analysis of normalized DSC-PWI time-intensity curves: a potential generalizable approach and its proof of concept in discriminating glioblastoma and metastasis. Eur Radiol. 2022 Feb 1. DOI: 10.1007/s00330-021-08498-1.
  • Bernatowicz, K., Grussu, F., Ligero, M. et al. Robust imaging habitat computation using voxel-wise radiomics features. Sci Rep 11, 20133 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-99701-2.
  • Ligero M, García-Ruiz A, Viaplana C, Villacampa G, Raciti MV, Landa J, Matos I, Martín-Liberal J, Ochoa-de-Olza M, Hierro C, Mateo J, González M, Morales-Barrera R, Suárez C, Rodón J, Elez E, Braña I, Muñoz-Couselo E, Oaknin A, Fasani R, Nuciforo P, Gil D, Rubio-Pérez C, Seoane J, Felip E, Escobar M, Tabernero J, Carles J, Dienstmann R, Garralda E, Pérez-López R. A CT-based Radiomics Signature Is Associated with Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Advanced Solid Tumors. Radiology. 2021 Apr;299(1):109-119. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2021200928.
  • García-Ruiz A, Naval-Baudin P, Ligero M, Pons-Escoda A, Bruna J, Plans G, Calvo N, Cos M, Majós C, Pérez-López R. Precise enhancement quantification in post-operative MRI as an indicator of residual tumor impact is associated with survival in patients with glioblastoma. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 12;11(1):695. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-79829-3.
  • Ligero M, Jordi-Ollero O, Bernatowicz K, García-Ruiz A, Delgado-Muñoz E, Leiva D, Mast R, Suárez C, Sala-Llonch R, Calvo N, Escobar M, Navarro-Martín A, Villacampa G, Dienstmann R, Pérez-López R. Minimizing acquisition-related radiomics variability by image resampling and batch effect correction to allow for large-scale data analysis. Eur Radiol. 2021 Mar;31(3):1460-1470. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07174-0.
  • Zunder SM, Pérez-López R, de Kok BM, Raciti MV, van Pelt GW, Dienstmann R, García-Ruiz A, Meijer CA, Gelderblom H, Tollenaar RA, Nuciforo P, Wasser MN, Mesker WE. Correlation of the tumour-stroma ratio with diffusion weighted MRI in rectal cancer. Eur J Radiol. 2020 Dec;133:109345. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2020.109345.
  • Matos I, Martín-Liberal J, García-Ruiz A, Hierro C, Ochoa de Olza M, Viaplana C, Azaro A, Vieito M, Braña I, Mur G, Ros J, Mateos J, Villacampa G, Berché R, Oliveira M, Alsina M, Elez E, Oaknin A, Muñoz-Couselo E, Carles J, Felip E, Rodón J, Tabernero J, Dienstmann R, Pérez-López R, Garralda E. Capturing Hyperprogressive Disease with Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitors Using RECIST 1.1 Criteria. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Apr 15;26(8):1846-1855. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2226.

Main R&D projects

  • Deciphering colon cancer heterogeneity with machine learning and precision imaging. Instituto de Salud Carlos III. 2022-2025.
  • Tumoral senescence induced by anti-cancer therapiesconstitutes a novel prognostic biomarker and a therapeutic target. Fundación Científica Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer-Proyectos Coordinados. 2021-2026.
  • Personalized response Imaging biomarker for Cancer immunotherapy. CRIS Cancer Foundation. 2020-2025.
  • PrecIMet: precision imaging for bone metastases. Fundación La Marato de TV3. 2020-2023.
  • Unraveling the tumor immunophenotype with deep-learning based radiogenomics. Fundación FERO.
  • A two-stage study to clinically qualify whole-body diffusion-weighted MRI in patients with metastatic castration resistant prostate carcinoma with bone metastases Prostate Cancer Foundation.
  • Estudio de validación clínica de la resonancia de cuerpo completo con difusión en pacientes con cáncer de próstata resistente a la castración y metástasis ósea. Instituto de Salud Carlos III.
  • Detection of genetic abnormalities using persistent homology in radiomics. European Commission funded ATTRACT program. 2019- 2020.
  • DART: Building Data Rich Clinical Trials. Horizon 2020 Program-European Commission. VHIO. 2021-2026.
  • Immune-Image: Specific Imaging of Immune Cell Dynamics Using Novel Tracer Strategies. Innovative Medicine Initiative-H2020. VHIO. 2019-2024.
  • Clinical Qualification of DNA Repair Defects as Biomarkers in Metastatic Prostate Cancer Using Integrated Genomics and Tissue-Based Functional Assays. Department of Defense (DoD) from the USA Impact Award.

Personnel grants

  • Beatriu de Pinós post-doctoral fellowship: “Advancing Magnetic Resonance Imaging against liver cancer”. Fellow: Francesco Grussu. 2022-2024.
  • Beatriu de Pinós post-doctoral fellowship, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions COFUND: “Improving patient Selection for immunotherapy: Multi-Omics signature for Response Evaluation (ISeeMORE)”. Fellow: Kinga Bernatowicz. 2020-2023.
  • Fundación La Caixa, INPhINIT Retaining Fellowship. PhD in Biomedical Engineering (Universidad Politecnica de Cataluña). Predoctoral researcher: Olivia Prior.2021-2024.
  • PERIS-Predoctoral fellowship. PhD in Biomedical Engineering (University of Barcelona). Predoctoral researcher: Marta Ligero. 2021-2024.

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