Dr. Rakow-Penner and her team currently are evaluating RSI for breast and cervical cancer and she said so far the findings are positive.

“The technique has to be tuned to each body part. Generally, however, RSI has shown to be a good biomarker for cancer cells. We predict this is likely due to its theoretical sensitivity to cells with high nuclear to cytoplasm ratios,” said Dr. Rakow-Penner.

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“We need to further investigate the basic science questions pertaining to the etiology of the MRI detectable signal from cancer cells. If we better understand the unique signal from different tumor cells, we can continue to improve and translate the technology to patient care.”

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Yair Lotan, MD, who is Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, said any new technique that improves staging of cancer will be useful in informing patients and clinicians about optimal management of disease whether surgically or with radiation therapy.

“The technique requires validation in much larger cohorts to determine if it is truly predictive of cancer aggressiveness. Deciding on whether to treat a cancer or whether to just use surveillance can have important implications so the threshold for test performance is high. Also, the significant cost will require better proof of added benefit,” Dr. Lotan told Cancer Therapy Advisor.


  1. Rakow-Penner RA, White NS, Parsons JK, et al. Novel technique for characterizing prostate cancer utilizing MRI restriction spectrum imaging: proof of principle and initial clinical experience with extraprostatic extension. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2015; 18(1):81-85.
  2. Kothari PD, White NS, Farid N, et al. Longitudinal restriction spectrum imaging is resistant to pseudoresponse in patients with high-grade gliomas treated with bevacizumab. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2013:34(9);1752-1757.