Background: Central nervous system (CNS) tumors are a rare but devastating malignancy, often robbing patients of the basic quality of life. Despite advances in our understanding of the CNS tumor disease processes, the prognosis for patients with CNS tumors remains poor. Better characterization and diagnostic and monitoring approaches are necessary to assist in diagnosis and treatment of CNS tumors. One important tool in the neuro-oncology armamentarium is the use of advanced imaging techniques.
Methods: We searched PubMed using the keywords neuro-oncology imaging, pseudoprogression, molecular imaging, and biomarkers. We limited our search to full-text English articles and identified other relevant articles from the reference lists of previously identified articles.
Results: Advances in imaging techniques have allowed investigators to explore various imaging modalities, from tumor characterization to differentiating pseudoprogression from tumor progression. Better imaging can result in better diagnostic approaches, greater and safer resection techniques, and improved monitoring of tumor progression.
Conclusion: This review highlights advances in neuro-oncology imaging techniques and their clinical utility in the treatment and management of primary brain tumors.
Keywords: Biomarkers; glioma; magnetic resonance imaging; molecular imaging; multimodal imaging; surgical oncology.