Research Topic

Next Generation Diffusion MRI Techniques in Cancer Management

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About this Research Topic

Diffusion weighted MRI (DWI) is increasingly being used for cancer detection and assessment in diagnosis and treatment. DWI is well suited to these tasks because the image contrast is closely related to the tissue microstructure features used for histopathological diagnosis and grading. Calculation of an apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) provides a semi quantitative measure of restricted and hindered water diffusion that correlates closely with the presence and grade of several cancers, and can be used to assess treatment effect. Despite growing applications conventional ADC based methods are inherently insensitive to the often complex and subtle tissue microstructure changes that are key to histopathological characterization of cancers. A further limitation of early applications of DWI to cancer detection outside the brain has been the tendency to apply techniques developed for neural tissue imaging without due regard to the many microstructural differences between neural tissues and other organs. This Frontiers Research Topic looks beyond ADC to explore the ‘next generation’ of tissue–specific DWI method being developed for cancer management.


Keywords: cancer, diffusion, MRI, microstructure, modelling


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Diffusion weighted MRI (DWI) is increasingly being used for cancer detection and assessment in diagnosis and treatment. DWI is well suited to these tasks because the image contrast is closely related to the tissue microstructure features used for histopathological diagnosis and grading. Calculation of an apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) provides a semi quantitative measure of restricted and hindered water diffusion that correlates closely with the presence and grade of several cancers, and can be used to assess treatment effect. Despite growing applications conventional ADC based methods are inherently insensitive to the often complex and subtle tissue microstructure changes that are key to histopathological characterization of cancers. A further limitation of early applications of DWI to cancer detection outside the brain has been the tendency to apply techniques developed for neural tissue imaging without due regard to the many microstructural differences between neural tissues and other organs. This Frontiers Research Topic looks beyond ADC to explore the ‘next generation’ of tissue–specific DWI method being developed for cancer management.


Keywords: cancer, diffusion, MRI, microstructure, modelling


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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