MR perfusion imaging in oncology: Neuro applications

Ramon Barajas, Soonmee Cha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The application of perfusion MRI in clinical neuro-oncology hinges upon the differential expression of angiogenic processes within neoplastic tissues when compared with surrounding normal brain. All neoplastic tissues rely upon the formation of new blood vessels, a biological process known as angiogenesis, to constantly supply nutrients and remove metabolic waste materials. Angiogenesis is a complex biological process that is upregulated by a number of cytokines, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is released within tumors, endothelial cells, and surrounding immune cells [1–5]. As tumor growth occurs beyond its existing blood supply, regional cellular hypoxic and hypoglycemic conditions ensue. This change within the cellular microenvironment promotes the transcription of VEGF that ultimately results in endothelial mitosis, cellular migration, and the formation of new microvasculature, thereby improving tumor nutrient supply that is essential to continued tumor growth and development [1–7]. VEGF expression and angiogenesis is known to vary by tumor type and grade. VEGF expression within gliomas and meningiomas has been associated with increased tumor grade and expression of histologically aggressive vascular features [8–11]. Tumor-related VEGF expression ultimately leads to the abnormal development of microvasculature, resulting in elevated vascular density with disrupted flow characteristics [12–14]. The observation that angiogenesis plays a critical role in tumor growth has led to the development of therapeutic agents which directly inhibit angiogenic activity. The clinical implementation of anti-angiogenic chemotherapeutics has necessitated histological and imaging-based quantification of angiogenic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClinical Perfusion MRI: Techniques and Applications
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)9781139004053, 9781107013391
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Barajas, R., & Cha, S. (2010). MR perfusion imaging in oncology: Neuro applications. In Clinical Perfusion MRI: Techniques and Applications (pp. 204-237). Cambridge University Press.