Nicholas S. Phillips

Document Type:

Doctoral Dissertation


Nicholas S. Phillips

Email Address:


Diffusion Tensor Imaging in Pediatric Brain Tumor Patients


Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering and Imaging



Track, if Integrated Program in Biomedical Sciences:


Research Advisor:

Robert J. Ogg  Ph.D.

Advisor's Email:

Committee Members:

M. Waleed Gaber, Ph.D.


W. Eugene Reddick, Ph.D.


Kathleen Helton, M.D.


 Xioping Xiong, Ph.D.


DTI, imaging, pediatrics, brain tumors, cancer, MRI


6 Month Campus Only Embargo

Graduation Date:

May 2009


In this dissertation, we outline our efforts to introduce an advanced MRI imaging technique called Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) to the pediatric brain tumor population.  We discuss the theory and application of DTI as it was performed in a series of translational investigations at St. Jude ChildrenŐs Research Hospital.  We present evidence of how the introduction of this technique impacted diagnosis, and treatment. And finally, we demonstrate how DTI was used to investigate cognitive morbidities associated with cancer treatment and how this research provided insight into the underlying pathophysiology involved in the development of these treatment sequela.


This research has generated important insights into the fundamental causes of neuroanatomical and cognitive deficits associated with cancer and cancer therapy.  The use of DTI has permitted us to identify potential targets for improved radiological and surgical techniques as well as targets for pharmacological and behavioral interventions that might improve cognitive function in cancer survivors.  The discoveries here afford us an opportunity to reduce the negative effects of cancer therapy on patients treated in the future while maintaining successful survival rates.      


Attached File(s)

á      pdf (3.6 Mbytes). This pdf best viewed using the latest version of Acrobat Reader.

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Revised 04 August 2010