Human cancers are genetically complex and diverse. Although advances in oncologic therapy aim to define and target unique steps in carcinogenesis, oncologists often rely on less discriminate anticancer therapies that have consequences for normal tissues. Even many of the so-called targeted therapies currently employed can adversely affect normal cells, leading to complications that necessitate dose reductions or cessation of specific therapies. This article explores the unintended consequences of currently employed systemic and ablative anticancer therapies that might manifest at imaging examinations of the abdomen and pelvis, including cytotoxic, molecular targeted, and immunologic agents; ablation; and hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Each of these treatments can have both major and minor unintended effects in the targeted organ(s), in local or adjacent structures, or at distant sites. Timely detection and reporting of adverse consequences of anticancer therapies by the astute imager can result in critical treatment modifications and/or lifesaving interventions; therefore, knowledge of these unintended effects is paramount for radiologists interpreting the results of imaging examinations in cancer patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging