Diffusion-weighted imaging in oncology: An update

Young SIRM Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


To date, diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is included in routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocols for several cancers. The real additive role of DWI lies in the “functional” information obtained by probing the free diffusivity of water molecules into intra and inter-cellular spaces that in tumors mainly depend on cellularity. Although DWI has not gained much space in some oncologic scenarios, this non-invasive tool is routinely used in clinical practice and still remains a hot research topic: it has been tested in almost all cancers to differentiate malignant from benign lesions, to distinguish different malignant histotypes or tumor grades, to predict and/or assess treatment responses, and to identify residual or recurrent tumors in follow-up examinations. In this review, we provide an up-to-date overview on the application of DWI in oncology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1493
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Apparent diffusion coefficient
  • Cancer imaging
  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Oncologic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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