In this commentary we discuss the potential of advanced imaging, particularly Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the objective assessment of disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We emphasise the potential DCE-MRI in advancing the field and exploring new areas of research and development in RA. We believe that different grades of bone marrow edema (BME) and synovitis in RA can be examined and monitored in a more sensitive manner with DCE-MRI. Future treatments for RA will be significantly improved by enhanced imaging of BMEs and synovitis. DCE-MRI will also facilitate enhanced stratification and phenotyping of patients enrolled in clinical trials.
Copyright © 2019 by American Society of Clinical Oncology
Journal of Clinical Oncology May 2019; 37(15)_suppl DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2019.37.15_suppl.e13559
Modified response assessment in neuro-oncology (mRANO) criteria are widely used in GBM but seem insufficient to capture Pseudoprogression (PsP), which occurs due to extensive inflammatory infiltration, increased vascular permeability, tumor necrosis and edema. mRANO criteria recommend volumetric response evaluation using contrast-enhanced T1 subtraction maps for identifying PsP. Our approach incorporates multi-parametric MRI biomarkers to unravel the true PsP from recurrence or distinguish Pseudo Response (PsR) – following anti-VEGF agents – from delayed (immuno)response.
Multiple time-points MRI (18-24h after convection-enhance delivery of the anti-IL4-R agent MDNA55, then at 30-day intervals) was utilized to determine response. Multi-parametric MRI biomarkers analyzed included (1) 3D-FLAIR-T2-based tumor volume assessment reflecting edema, necrosis and tumor infiltration; (2) 3D-gadolinium-enhanced-based tumor volume estimation reflecting active tumor infiltration, neo-angiogenesis and disrupted blood brain barrier; (3) Dynamic susceptibility contrast-based relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) measurements for estimation of the vascular tumour properties; and (4) Diffusion weighted imaging – Apparent diffusion coefficient measurements that assess interstitial edema, tumor cellularity and ischemic injury.
We demonstrate similar imaging phenotypes on conventional FLAIR-T2- and enhanced T1- MR images among different disease states (PsP vs true progression, PsR vs and immuno-response) and describe the perfusion and diffusion MRI biomarkers that improve response staging including PsP masking true progression, PsP masking clinical response, early progression with delayed response, and differentiation between true and PsR. The results are compared with the mRANO-based assessments for concurrence.
Incorporating multi-parametric MRI measurements to determine the complex underlying tissue processes enables a better assessment of PsP, PsR and delayed tumour response, and can supplement mRANO-based response assessments in GBM patients undergoing novel immunotherapies.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Published by BMJ.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2019 June;78(2)
Lupus nephritis (LN) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in subjects with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). The gold standard for evaluation of LN remains the kidney biopsy, whereas renal function is usually evaluated by eGFR and urinary protein:creatinine ratio. More effective and sensitive methodology is needed to assess LN and also the response to treatment. Functional imaging of the kidney using quantitative techniques has great potential, as it can assess kidney function and pathologic changes non-invasively by evaluating perfusion, oxygenation, cellular density and fibrosis.
To develop a multi-modality imaging approach for the evaluation of the spectrum of pathologic changes in LN.
In this multi-center study, subjects who were having a standard of care renal biopsy for LN were asked to participate in the imaging evaluation. Local Institutional Review Board approval was obtained, and subjects signed an Informed Consent Form. Dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) was employed to detect changes in vascularization and perfusion, Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) to assess interstitial diffusion, T2*Map/BOLD – the tissue oxygenation and T1rho to evaluate fibrosis. The imaging scores will be compared to renal biopsy, including ISN/RPS classification of LN, activity index and chronicity index.
Five patients have been evaluated to date and their imaging data assessed for quality. The initial results have demonstrated the feasibility of acquiring multi-modality imaging data, including dynamic imaging sequences, in the multi-center trial setting. Figure 1 illustrates scans from a representative patient. This study will determine whether multi-modality imaging could become an effective, non-invasive tool to assess renal function and pathology in LN.
The initial assessment of 5 LN subjects has established the feasibility of multi-modality imaging as a tool to evaluate LN in a multi-center study. By assessing functional and structural MRI outcomes and correlating them to clinical data, this study will provide essential preliminary evidence on the value of multi-modality imaging in diagnosis and evaluating the response to treatment of LN patients.
Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2019 June;78(2)_suppl. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-eular.1368
Phase III clinical trials have shown apremilast (APR) reduced PsA signs/symptoms and improved physical function,but no study has addressed its impact on structural disease progression. MRI is a highly sensitive, validated tool to assess inflammatory and structural changes, as it can detect soft tissue inflammation, bone marrow edema (BME) lesions, bone erosion and proliferation in peripheral joints and axial skeleton. Whole-body (WB)-MRI, a relatively novel technique in musculoskeletal studies, allows assessment of all peripheral/axial joints and entheses in 1 examination. Recent, consensus-based and semi-quantitative scoring methods were developed and validated. This study is the first to systematically use new state-of-the-art MRI scoring methodologies to assess PsA inflammatory and structural changes in a global clinical trial.
To assess APR efficacy on inflammatory indices and imaging outcome measures associated with PsA structural progression by conventional static MRI and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI of the most affected hand and WB-MRI.
The study aims to enroll 120 biologic-naïve adults with PsA for ≥3 mos to ≤5 yrs and prior treatment with ≤2 conventional DMARDs. Subjects must have ≥3 swollen and ≥3 tender joints, hand involvement (≥1 swollen joint or ≥1 dactylitis) and ≥1 active enthesitis site. After 4-wk screening, all eligible patients will receive APR 30 mg twice daily (titrated during the first 5 days) as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate for 48 wks, with a 4-wk observational follow-up. Conventional MRI and optional DCE-MRI of the most affected hand and WB-MRI of the entire body will be performed at Wks 0, 24 and 48. The primary endpoint is change from BL to Wk 24 in OMERACT PsA MRI (PsAMRIS) composite score of BME + synovitis + tenosynovitis. Other imaging endpoints include change from BL to Wk 48 in PsAMRIS composite score (BME + synovitis + tenosynovitis) and change from BL to Wks 24 and 48 in PsAMRIS composite score (BME + synovitis), PsAMRIS composite inflammation score (BME + synovitis + tenosynovitis + periarticular inflammation), PsAMRIS total damage score (erosion + bone proliferation), WB-MRI indices (including peripheral joint inflammation index and peripheral enthesis inflammation index), hip and knee inflammation MRI scores (HIMRISS, KIMRISS), OMERACT heel enthesitis MRI indices, axial inflammation indices (SPARCC, CanDen), DEMRIQ-Volume and DEMRIQ-Inflammation and other DCE-MRI–derived parameters. Clinical parameters will include SJC/TJC, cDAPSA, SPARCC Enthesitis Index, Leeds Enthesitis Index, Leeds Dactylitis Index, PASDAS, PtGA, PhGA, Patient’s Assessment of Pain, HAQ-DI, and BASDAI and impact of disease (PsAID12). Safety and tolerability also will be assessed.
The study protocol was approved by an independent ethics committee and is now enrolling in the USA. Selected countries in Europe and Russia will also participate. MRI, clinical and patient-reported outcomes will be analyzed.
This study will provide important evidence of APR’s impact on inflammatory/structural changes by assessing all PsA musculoskeletal domains (peripheral arthritis, enthesitis, dactylitis and axial disease). Furthermore, it will yield information on use of conventional MRI–, WB-MRI– and DCE-MRI–driven outcome measures in PsA clinical trials.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Biochemical Pharmacology. 2019 Jul;37 doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2019.02.037. Epub 2019 Mar 1.
The success of disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) development is still elusive. While there have been successes in preclinical and early clinical studies, phase 3 clinical trials have failed so far and there is still no approved, widely available DMOAD on the market. The latest research suggests that, among other causes, poor trial outcomes might be explained by the fact that osteoarthritis (OA) is a heterogeneous disease with distinct phenotypes. OA trials might be more successful if they would address and target a specific phenotype. The increasing availability of advanced techniques to detect particular OA characteristics expands the possibilities to distinguish between such potential OA phenotypes. Magnetic resonance imaging is among the key imaging techniques to stratify and monitor patients with changes in bone, cartilage and inflammation. Biochemical markers have mainly used as secondary parameters and could further delineate phenotypes. Moreover, post-hoc analyses of trial data have suggested the existence of distinct pain phenotypes and their relevance in the design of clinical trials. Although ongoing work in the field supports the concept of OA heterogeneity, this has not yet resulted in more effective treatment options. This paper reviews the current knowledge about potential OA phenotypes and suggests that combining patient clinical data, quantitative imaging, biochemical markers and utilizing data-driven approaches in patient selection and efficacy assessment will allow for more successful development of effective DMOADs.