Volumetric spectroscopic imaging of glioblastoma multiforme radiation treatment volumes

N. Andres Parra, Andrew A. Maudsley, Rakesh K. Gupta, Fazilat Ishkanian, Kris Huang, Gail R. Walker, Kyle Padgett, Bhaswati Roy, Joseph Panoff, Arnold Markoe, Radka Stoyanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and computed tomography (CT) are used almost exclusively in radiation therapy planning of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), despite their well-recognized limitations. MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) can identify biochemical patterns associated with normal brain and tumor, predominantly by observation of choline (Cho) and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) distributions. In this study, volumetric 3-dimensional MRSI was used to map these compounds over a wide region of the brain and to evaluate metabolite-defined treatment targets (metabolic tumor volumes [MTV]).

Methods and Materials: Volumetric MRSI with effective voxel size of ∼1.0 mL and standard clinical MR images were obtained from 19 GBM patients. Gross tumor volumes and edema were manually outlined, and clinical target volumes (CTVs) receiving 46 and 60 Gy were defined (CTV46 and CTV60, respectively). MTVCho and MTVNAA were constructed based on volumes with high Cho and low NAA relative to values estimated from normal-appearing tissue.

Results: The MRSI coverage of the brain was between 70% and 76%. The MTVNAA were almost entirely contained within the edema, and the correlation between the 2 volumes was significant (r=0.68, P=.001). In contrast, a considerable fraction of MTVCho was outside of the edema (median, 33%) and for some patients it was also outside of the CTV46 and CTV60. These untreated volumes were greater than 10% for 7 patients (37%) in the study, and on average more than one-third (34.3%) of the MTVCho for these patients were outside of CTV60.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential usefulness of whole-brain MRSI for radiation therapy planning of GBM and revealed that areas of metabolically active tumor are not covered by standard RT volumes. The described integration of MTV into the RT system will pave the way to future clinical trials investigating outcomes in patients treated based on metabolic information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)376-384
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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