CEST-MRI for body oncologic imaging: are we there yet?

Elena Vinogradov, Jochen Keupp, Ivan E. Dimitrov, Stephen Seiler, Ivan Pedrosa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI has gained recognition as a valuable addition to the molecular imaging and quantitative biomarker arsenal, especially for characterization of brain tumors. There is also increasing interest in the use of CEST-MRI for applications beyond the brain. However, its translation to body oncology applications lags behind those in neuro-oncology. The slower migration of CEST-MRI to non-neurologic applications reflects the technical challenges inherent to imaging of the torso. In this review, we discuss the application of CEST-MRI to oncologic conditions of the breast and torso (i.e., body imaging), emphasizing the challenges and potential solutions to address them. While data are still limited, reported studies suggest that CEST signal is associated with important histology markers such as tumor grade, receptor status, and proliferation index, some of which are often associated with prognosis and response to therapy. However, further technical development is still needed to make CEST a reliable clinical application for body imaging and establish its role as a predictive and prognostic biomarker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNMR in biomedicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • APT
  • body imaging
  • CEST
  • MRI
  • oncologic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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