Physiological properties of tumors can be measured both in vivo and noninvasively by diffusion-weighted imaging and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Although these techniques have been used for more than two decades to study tumor diffusion, perfusion, and/or permeability, the methods and studies on how to reduce measurement error and bias in the derived imaging metrics is still lacking in the literature. This is of paramount importance because the objective is to translate these quantitative imaging biomarkers (QIBs) into clinical trials, and ultimately in clinical practice. Standardization of the image acquisition using appropriate phantoms is the first step from a technical performance standpoint. The next step is to assess whether the imaging metrics have clinical value and meet the requirements for being a QIB as defined by the Radiological Society of North America's Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA). The goal and mission of QIBA and the National Cancer Institute Quantitative Imaging Network (QIN) initiatives are to provide technical performance standards (QIBA profiles) and QIN tools for producing reliable QIBs for use in the clinical imaging community. Some of QIBA's development of quantitative diffusion-weighted imaging and dynamic contrast-enhanced QIB profiles has been hampered by the lack of literature for repeatability and reproducibility of the derived QIBs. The available research on this topic is scant and is not in sync with improvements or upgrades in MRI technology over the years. This review focuses on the need for QIBs in oncology applications and emphasizes the importance of the assessment of their reproducibility and repeatability. Level of Evidence: 5 Technical Efficacy Stage: 1 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;49:e101-e121.
Keywords: DCE; DWI; MRI; quantitative imaging biomarkers.
© 2018 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.
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