Patients with primary brain tumors may be considered for several different treatments during the course of their disease. Assessments of disease progression and response to therapy are typically performed by visual interpretation of serial MRI examinations. Although such examinations provide useful morphologic information, they are unable to reliably distinguish active tumor from radiation necrosis. This poses a particular problem in the assessment of response to localized radiation therapies such as gamma knife radiosurgery. In this paper, we present methodology for evaluating changes in tissue morphology and metabolism based on serial volumetric MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) examinations. Registration and quantitative analysis of these data provide measurements of the temporal and spatial distributions of gadolinium enhancement and of N-acetylasparate, choline, creatine, and lactate/lipid. The key features of this approach and the potential clinical benefits are illustrated by a detailed analysis of six serial MRI/MRSI examinations and three serial 1-[F-18] fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) studies on a patient with a recurrent anaplastic astrocytoma.