For Healthcare Professionals

Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) Diffusion Weighted MRI (DW-MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) of Head and Neck Tumors


About the study

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic study that makes pictures of organs of the body using magnetic field and radio frequency pulses that can not be felt. Dynamic contrast enhanced-magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) uses faster imaging and contrast material (a substance used to make specific organs, blood vessels, or tumors easier to see) that is given by vein. Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) allows to measure the motion of water around the cells in the tumor. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) obtains chemical information from the tumor. During MRS, signals are detected from the chemicals (spectroscopy) naturally present in your tumor using radio waves. DCE-MRI, DW-MRI and MRS give extra information which is not available with the regular MRI. The regular MRI only shows pictures of the tumor while the DCE-MRI also gives information about the blood vessels of the tumor. DW-MRI provides information related to the state of the tumor tissue with regards to the quality or condition of cells present in it and MRS gives information about the chemical makeup of the tumor. The purpose of this study is to see whether DCE-MRI, DW-MRI and MRS done before treatment can predict which patients will do well with either surgery or chemo-radiation therapy. This study will also see if DCE-MRI, DW-MRI and MRS done early in treatment can tell if the therapy is working.

Who can take part

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you meet the following criteria:


  1. Patients with histologically proven diagnosis of head and neck cancer or patients with tumors strongly suspicious for head and neck cancer due to clinical features or FNA (fine needle aspiration) cytology assessment.
  2. Will undergo surgery or chemo-radiation treatment
  3. Patients must be 18 years or older and have the ability to give informed consent


  1. Claustrophobia
  2. Known reaction to Gd-DTPA
  3. Pre-operative radiation to primary tumor site
  4. Contraindication to MRI
  5. Pacemaker
  6. Aneurysmal clips
  7. Metal implants in field of view
  8. Pregnant or nursing women
  9. Age and mental status wherein he/she is unable to cooperate for MRI study
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Study Locations

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How to Apply

Contact the study center to learn if this study is a good match for you.
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Study’s details


Head and Neck Cancer



Participants needed


Est. Completion Date

Feb 2024

Treatment type



Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center identifier


Study number


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