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The Critical Role of Imaging Core Labs: Unlocking Success in Clinical Trials 

Clinical trials are the rigorous, multi-step process of testing new drugs and devices to ensure their safety and efficacy. While these trials involve various assessments, imaging plays a crucial role, offering invaluable insights into the inner workings of the human body. And when it comes to harnessing the full potential of imaging data in clinical trials, imaging core labs emerge as the unsung heroes. Why is centralized imaging review essential? The answer lies in the ability to ensure standardization, efficiency, and advanced analysis, three pillars that underpin successful clinical trials. 


Imagine a trial where images are acquired using different protocols across sites, analyzed by radiologists with varying expertise, and interpreted subjectively. This inconsistency creates a data quagmire, hindering reliable conclusions. An imaging core lab is instrumental in setting standardized protocols for image acquisition and analysis, ensuring data consistency across sites and readers. This reduces variability, leading to more robust and credible results. 


Managing imaging data in large, multi-center trials can be a logistical nightmare. Imaging core labs bring centralized expertise, freeing up time and resources at clinical sites. They handle the complex tasks of image acquisition, analysis, and data management, streamlining the process and reducing costs associated with travel and logistics. Additionally, because each clinical research site utilizes imaging equipment of varying brands, hardware, age, and functionality, an imaging core lab helps to standardize the evaluation and support transfer of comparable images. 

Advanced Analysis:

Imaging core labs go beyond basic image viewing. They have access to cutting-edge technology and software for quantitative image analysis and even incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) tools. This allows for objective measurements, deeper insights into treatment effects, and early detection of subtle changes that might be missed by the human eye. Furthermore, imaging core labs use consistent readers across time points, which helps reduce, or eliminate, variability in assessment, and structured adjudication in the event of discordance in evaluation between readers. In addition, imaging core labs use readers specialized in therapeutic areas, further supporting much-needed accuracy in clinical trials. 

But where does centralized imaging review truly shine?

While valuable across various therapeutic areas, their impact is most profound in fields where visual assessment and quantification are crucial: 


The vast majority of hematology and oncology clinical trials employ an imaging component as the primary trial endpoint, justifying the need for standardization, efficiency, and advanced analysis. It is critical for imaging core labs in the hematology/oncology space to have rigourous procedures that govern the handling and protection of patient health informatio, as well as the integrity of assessment of changes to target/non-target lesions over time. Imaging core labs are critical in response assessment, tumor size monitoring, new lesion detection, and organ involvement assessment. This information is vital for early efficacy evaluation, dose adjustments, and personalized treatment plans. WCG has the expertise to help select and standardize the most appropriate criteria for your project including, but not limited to:

  • Cheson
  • Choi
  • irRC
  • Lugano
  • Macdonald
  • PCWG-2
  • RANO


From measuring heart function and structure to detecting coronary artery disease and evaluating valvular function, imaging core labs provide invaluable insights for cardiovascular health management. 


Imaging core labs aid in diagnosing and monitoring neurological disorders, assessing brain tumors, and evaluating brain injury. Their precise measurements and analysis guide treatment decisions and track disease progression. 

Musculoskeletal, Pulmonary, and Infectious Diseases:

Imaging core labs assist in diagnosing and monitoring bone and joint disorders, lung diseases, and infections, providing visual evidence for treatment effectiveness and disease spread. 

Emerging Areas:

Imaging core labs are at the forefront of gene therapy and precision medicine. They track gene delivery and expression while identifying biomarkers for personalized treatment approaches.

WCG: A Leader in Centralized Imaging 

As a premier imaging core lab, WCG understands the crucial role imaging plays in clinical trial success. With a commitment to standardization, efficiency, and advanced analysis, WCG offers a comprehensive suite of imaging services across various therapeutic areas. 

Our team of experts leverages the latest technology and expertise to ensure data quality, objectivity, and timely insights. We believe in collaborative partnerships with sponsors and investigators, working together to unlock the full potential of imaging data and accelerate the development of life-saving therapies. 

Partner with WCG and harness the power our imaging core lab to unlock the success of your next clinical trial. 

Contact WCG Imaging to discuss your trial’s imaging needs

We have the team, therapeutic expertise, technology, and ISO-certified quality management systems to provide imaging core lab services to our clients worldwide. Complete the form to get started.