Progress in neuro-imaging of brain tumors

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is routinely employed in the diagnosis and clinical management of brain tumors. This review provides an overview of the advancements in the field of MRI, with a particular focus on the quantitative assessment by advanced physiological magnetic resonance techniques in light of the new molecular classification of brain tumor.

Recent findings

Understanding how molecular phenotypes of brain tumors are reflected in noninvasive imaging is the goal of radiogenomics, which aims at determining the association between imaging features and molecular markers in neuro-oncology. Advanced MRI techniques such as diffusion magnetic resonance imaging and perfusion-weighted imaging add important structural, hemodynamic, and physiological information for tumor diagnosis and classification, as well as to stratify tumor response. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy is able to depict with unprecedented accuracy metabolic biomarkers, which are relevant for molecular subtyping. Ultra-high-field imaging enhances anatomical detail and enables to explore new horizon in tumor imaging.

Summary

The noninvasive MRI-based assessment of tumor malignancy and molecular status may offer the opportunity to predict prognosis and to select patients who may be candidates for individualized targeted therapies, providing more sensitive tools for their follow-up.

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