Preclinical MRI: Studies of the irradiated brain

Joel R. Garbow, Christina I. Tsien, Scott C. Beeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Radiation therapy (RT) plays a central role in the treatment of primary brain tumors. However, despite recent advances in RT treatment, local recurrences following therapy remain common. Radiation necrosis (RN) is a severe, late complication of radiation therapy in the brain. RN is a serious clinical problem often associated with devastating neurologic complications. Therapeutic strategies, including neuroprotectants, have been described, but have not been widely translated in routine clinical use. We have developed a mouse model that recapitulates all of the major pathologic features of late-onset RN for the purposes of characterizing the basic pathogenesis of RN, identifying non-invasive (imaging) biomarkers of RN that might allow for the radiologic discernment of tumor and RN, systematic testing of tumor and RN therapeutics, and exploring the complex interplay between RN pathogenesis and tumor recurrence. Herein, we describe the fundamental clinical challenges associated with RN and the progress made towards addressing these challenges by combining our novel mouse model of late-onset RN and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRI techniques discussed include conventional T1- and T2-weighted imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, magnetization transfer, and measures of tissue oxygenation. Studies of RN mitigation and neuroprotection are described, including the use of anti-VEGF antibodies, and inhibitors of GSK-3β HIF-1α and CXCR4. We conclude with some future perspectives on the irradiated brain and the study and treatment of recurrent tumor growing in an irradiated tumor microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Radiated brain
  • Radiation necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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