Table of Contents
International Journal of Molecular Imaging
Volume 2011, Article ID 714021, 9 pages
Review Article

Diffusion MR Imaging of the Brain in Patients with Cancer

Department of Radiology, Section of Neuroradiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1400 Pressler Street, FCT16.024, Unit 1482, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 1 June 2011; Revised 19 August 2011; Accepted 19 August 2011

Academic Editor: Weibo Cai

Copyright © 2011 J. Matthew Debnam and Dawid Schellingerhout. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over the last several years, there has been significant advancement in the molecular characterization of intracranial diseases, particularly cerebral neoplasms. While nuclear medicine technology, including PET/CT, has been at the foreground of exploration, new MR imaging techniques, specifically diffusion-weighted and diffusion tensor imaging, have shown interesting applications towards advancing our understanding of cancer involving the brain. In this paper, we review the fundamentals and basic physics of these techniques, and their applications to patient care for both general diagnostic use and in answering specific questions in selection of patients in terms of expected response to treatment.