Quantifying Tumor Stiffness With Magnetic Resonance Elastography: The Role of Mechanical Properties for Detection, Characterization, and Treatment Stratification in Oncology

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The viscoelastic properties of tissue are significantly altered with the development of tumors and these alterations can be assessed with magnetic resonance elastography (MRE). Accurate detection and characterization of malignant and benign lesions can be obtained by quantifying tumor stiffness, improving the specificity and diagnostic accuracy of conventional magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, MRE can be used to stratify patients for treatment based on risk of normal tissue toxicity and surgical considerations including consistency and adherence of the tumor to surrounding structures. MRE is a reliable reproducible technique demonstrated in studies that include both patients with cancer and normal volunteers, and an average technical failure rate of <1%. The addition of MRE into a multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging assessment may improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

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