Treatment assessment of radiotherapy using MR functional quantitative imaging.
Recent developments in magnetic resonance (MR) functional quantitative imaging have made it a potentially powerful tool to assess treatment response in radiation therapy. With its abilities to capture functional information on underlying tissue characteristics, MR functional quantitative imaging can be valuable in assessing treatment response and as such to optimize therapeutic outcome. Various MR quantitative imaging techniques, including diffusion weighted imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, MR spectroscopy and dynamic contrast enhanced imaging, have been investigated and found useful for assessment of radiotherapy. However, various aspects including data reproducibility, interpretation of biomarkers, image quality and data analysis impose challenges on applications of MR functional quantitative imaging in radiotherapy assessment. All of these challenging issues shall be addressed to help us understand whether MR functional quantitative imaging is truly beneficial and contributes to future development of radiotherapy. It is evident that individualized therapy is the future direction of patient care. MR functional quantitative imaging might serves as an indispensable tool towards this promising direction.