The added value of Diffusion Weighted MR Imaging for the radiotherapy treatment of brain tumors
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The aim of this literature study is to investigate the added value of diffusion weighted MR imaging (DW-MRI) for the radiotherapy treatment of brain tumors. DW-MRI provides pathological information based on the mobility of water molecules. Because this technique provides different information than conventional anatomical MRI, it could be of added value in tasks where conventional MRI alone is not sufficient. DW-MRI can be used in different stages in the radiotherapy treatment process of brain tumors. This literature study discusses the added value of DW-MRI for delineation, prediction of therapy response and survival, and the discrimination between tumor recurrence and radiation injury. The literature shows a large variety of DW-MRI based measures to use in the different stages of therapy. DW-MRI could lead to more individual approaches and is able to predict therapy response in an early stage. However, DW-MRI is still in a exploratory stage and the literature does not only show consensus. This review will give an overview of recent results obtained with DW-MRI in the radiotherapy treatment process of brain tumors and will be concluded with a critical review of the added value of this advanced MR technique.