Novel imaging techniques in gynaecological cancer

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To describe the added value of novel functional MRI techniques towards detection, staging, characterization, response monitoring and prognostication in gynaecological cancer.

Recent findings

Functional MRI including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)-MRI and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI adds structural, hemodynamic and physiological information to anatomical MRI. In endometrial and cervical cancer, the addition of DWI-MRI and DCE-MRI improves tumour detection as well as staging of uterine and extra-uterine pelvic spread. Quantitative assessment of DWI and DCE-MRI reflecting tissue properties of biological aggressiveness or treatment resistance may enable the prediction of risk of extra-uterine or extra-ovarian disease spread, predict risk of recurrence and assess treatment response. DWI shows high accuracy for detecting peritoneal metastases and allows for comprehensive staging of (recurrent) ovarian cancer following the clinical development of whole body DWI-MRI.

Summary

The added value of DWI/DCE-MRI for characterization and staging of gynaecological malignancy is becoming increasingly established and may improve treatment stratification. Ongoing multicentre studies are expected to further consolidate its use in clinical routine. Quantitative evaluation of functional MRI may help in prognostication and risk stratification.

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