An accurate and noninvasive method for assessing treatment response following radiotherapy is needed for both treatment monitoring and planning. Measurement of solid tumor volume alone is not sufficient for reliable early detection of therapeutic response, since changes in physiological and/or biomechanical properties can precede tumor volume change following therapy. In this study, we use magnetic resonance elastography to evaluate the treatment effect after radiotherapy in a murine brain tumor model. Shear modulus was calculated and compared between the delineated tumor region of interest (ROI) and its contralateral, mirrored counterpart. We also compared the shear modulus from both the irradiated and non-irradiated tumor and mirror ROIs longitudinally, sampling four time points spanning 9-19 d post tumor implant. Results showed that the tumor ROI had a lower shear modulus than that of the mirror ROI, independent of radiation. The shear modulus of the tumor ROI decreased over time for both the treated and untreated groups. By contrast, the shear modulus of the mirror ROI appeared to be relatively constant for the treated group, while an increasing trend was observed for the untreated group. The results provide insights into the tumor properties after radiation treatment and demonstrate the potential of using the mechanical properties of the tumor as a biomarker. In future studies, more closely spaced time points will be employed for detailed analysis of the radiation effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6121
Pages (from-to)6121-6131
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jul 27 2016


  • brain tumor
  • magnetic resonance elastography
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • mouse models
  • radiation treatment


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