MR Imaging of Prostate Cancer in Radiation Oncology: What Radiologists Need to Know
Boonsirikamchai P, Choi S, Frank SJ, Ma J, Elsayes KM, Kaur H, Choi H. Radiographics. 2013 May;33(3):741-61. doi: 10.1148/rg.333125041.


Departments of Diagnostic Radiology, Radiation Oncology, and Imaging Physics, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1400 Pressler St, Unit 1473, Houston, TX 77030.


Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the principal treatment modalities for localized or locally advanced prostate cancer. The two major forms of RT for prostate cancer are external-beam RT (EBRT) with a photon or proton beam and brachytherapy. With modern conformal techniques for EBRT (three-dimensional conformal RT, intensity-modulated RT, and image-guided RT) and advanced computer-based planning systems for brachytherapy, the dose can be more precisely delivered to the prostate while reducing unnecessary radiation to normal tissue. The dominant intraprostatic tumor can be targeted with a higher dose, so-called dose painting. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging plays a pivotal role in pretreatment assessment of prostate cancer. Multiparametric MR imaging, a combination of anatomic and functional MR imaging techniques (diffusion-weighted imaging, dynamic contrast material-enhanced imaging, and MR spectroscopy), significantly improves the accuracy of tumor localization and local staging. For pretreatment planning, anatomic MR imaging provides highly accurate local staging information, particularly about extraprostatic extension and seminal vesicle invasion. The dominant intraprostatic tumor and local recurrence in the prostatectomy bed can be better localized with multiparametric MR imaging for dose painting. MR imaging allows excellent delineation of the contours of the prostate and surrounding structures. It can also be used in early posttreatment evaluation after brachytherapy.