Rivka Colen

Rivka Colen Rivka Colen
Department of Cancer Systems Imaging, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
Rivka Colen is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) in the Departments of Cancer Systems Imaging and Diagnostic Radiology, Section of Neuroradiology, at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is also the co-Director of the Quantitative Imaging Analysis Core. Her research program, the Imaging Genomics, Radiomics, and Therapeutics Lab, focuses on radiomics, radiogenomics (imaging genomics), advanced imaging analytics, multi-parametric imaging and image guided therapy. Dr. Colen?s lab is an imaging-based program with research studies that spans the spectrum of clinical, translational and preclinical imaging genomics and radiomics. Her research capitalizes on radiomics and imaging genomics to interrogate all types of cancer as well as non-cancer diseases such as autism, Alzheimer?s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson?s, etc. Imaging genomics is the linkage of imaging with the genomic composition of the tumor. They have found that distinct radiomic signatures are seen with distinct gene expression profiles in multiple solid cancers. On the other hand, radiomics is the automated high-throughput extraction of multi-dimensional imaging features obtained from medical images. Dr. Colen has demonstrated that radiomic features can provide a more accurate representation of the tumor and tumor heterogeneity, it can depict genomic niches and distinct tumor microenvironmental habitats within solid tumors and other tissue structures. Dr. Colen is very much focused on creating stratification and endpoint biomarkers for use in clinical trials that will better help stratify patients into clinical trials and determine therapy response early on or even before receiving treatment. She has found that radiomics can differentiate between true tumor progression and pseudoprogression (also known as post-treatment changes), a dilemma which can be seen in patients of different types of treatment and in particular immunotherapy. While harnessing the strengths of big data, merging imaging and other ?omic data into large centralized databases and analysis, Dr. Colen?s team develops software code and scripts that are used for large-scale imaging genomic and radiomic analysis pipelines and adaptive/predictive modeling to determine response to treatment and patient outcomes with high accuracy. They have multiple ongoing studies on multi-parametric imaging such as MR-diffusion, perfusion, and spectroscopy as predictive biomarkers in neuro-oncology treatment and most recent looking at predictive biomarkers to predict GBM genomics. They have experience in 2HG MRS to evaluate gliomas with IDH1 mutation and are working on elucidating the molecular underpinnings of radiomics within different cancers and in drug development. Dr. Colen has found accurate human to mouse matching of imaging, making the case for co-clinical trials using radiomics. She believes in harnessing the power of imaging and genomics that can converge to non-invasively visualize tumor heterogeneity in toto and connect it with the underlying molecular heterogeneity. Image-guided biopsies of tumor areas of ?highest complexity/heterogeneity? will result in identification of driver molecular events of tumor heterogeneity, elucidation of mechanisms of resistance, and response to therapy. Overall, Dr. Colen?s research program is dedicated to ?helping cure cancer using imaging? with the overarching goal to help find a cure for patients and improve patient outcomes.
Research Interest
Imaging and Diagnostic Radiology