The translation of results from the preclinical to the clinical setting is often anything other than straightforward. Indeed, ideas and even very intriguing results obtained at all levels of preclinical research, i.e., in vitro, on animal models, or even in clinical trials, often require much effort to validate, and sometimes, even useful data are lost or are demonstrated to be inapplicable in the clinic. In vivo, small-animal, preclinical imaging uses almost the same technologies in terms of hardware and software settings as for human patients, and hence, might result in a more rapid translation. In this perspective, magnetic resonance imaging might be the most translatable technique, since only in rare cases does it require the use of contrast agents, and when not, sequences developed in the lab can be readily applied to patients, thanks to their non-invasiveness. The wide range of sequences can give much useful information on the anatomy and pathophysiology of oncologic lesions in different body districts. This review aims to underline the versatility of this imaging technique and its various approaches, reporting the latest preclinical studies on thyroid, breast, and prostate cancers, both on small laboratory animals and on human patients, according to our previous and ongoing research lines.
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