In each patient study case, more than one ROI could be identified for cancer or normal tissue on multiple slices. The median parameter value of all voxels within the tumor ROIs of each patient is taken as a representative statistic of tumor in the patient. The median values of the fitted parameters (D, f and D*) were used because the median is more robust to outliers (that could occur during data-fitting) than the mean. Similarly, the median parameter value within all normal tissue ROIs of each patient is taken as the representative statistic for normal tissue in the patient. Friedman’s test was used to test whether the choice of fitting method had a statistically significant impact on the estimated parameter values in both cancer and normal tissues. The Bland-Altman plot was utilized to analyze the agreement between any two fitting methods. For each fitting method, the Student’s t-test was used to compare median parameter values in cervical cancer and normal tissues. All statistical analysis was performed using SPSS software 18.0 (Chicago, IL, USA) and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

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