Moffitt Cancer Center Recognizes Functional MRI Scans

June 03, 2008

Surgical Planning in Brain Tumor Patients

Tampa, FL–Magnetic resonance imaging is the most recently developed form of neuroimaging. At Moffitt Cancer Center, physicians are now using functional MRI (fMRI) to measure activity in the brain or spinal cord.

            While Moffitt does not exclusively use the fMRI procedure, it is the cutting edge technology right now, says F. Reed Murtagh, MD. Physicians use the fMRI to improve the outcomes of brain surgery by avoiding eloquent areas of the brain and insuring a safer tumor removal. Surgeons also use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) as a maximum removal of cancer.

Moffitt is the only center in the Tampa Bay area to practice this type of neuroradiology. While others have the capability, Moffitt acknowledges its’ technicians and doctors for making the fMRI available to patients.

“Brain surgery patients are typically out of the hospital within 24 hours. Patients do really well and this is probably the shortest post-surgery time in the country. It’s a tribute to the techniques used at Moffitt and the expertise of the surgeons,” said Murtagh, who has been practicing the fMRI for approximately five years.

On May 31 to June 5, Moffitt’s pre-operative planning team attended the American Society of Neuroradiology annual business meeting in New Orleans. University of South Florida medical students, Nick F. Arrendondo, MD, and Kristen Houseknecht, MS, presented Moffitt’s abstract on the fMRI process. The abstract was produced by Arrendondo, Murtagh, Houseknecht, and Steven Brem, MD.

Moffitt also recognizes neuroimaging specialists Surbhi Jain, MD, Ryan Murtagh, MD, Aileen Staller, ARNP and chief radiology technologist Arlynn Lorenzo.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida, Moffitt Cancer Center ( is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer, as well as for ear, nose and throat. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.