The failure rate of cancer treatment remains unacceptably high, still being a leading cause of mortality in adults and children despite major advances over the past 50 years in the fields of surgery, radiation therapy and, more recently, chemo and immunotherapy. Surgical access to some deep tumors of the head and neck and other areas often require extensive dissections with residual functional and cosmetic deformities. Repeated treatment is not possible after maximum dose radiotherapy and chemotherapy is still limited by its systemic toxicity. An attractive solution to these problems would be the development of a new adjunctive method combining the best features of interstitial laser therapy for selective tumor destruction via minimally invasive techniques for access and 3-D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a monitoring system for laser-tissue interactions. Interstitial laser therapy (ILT) via fiberoptics allow laser energy to be delivered directly into deeper tissues. However, this concept will become clinically useful only when noninvasive, accurate, and reproducible monitoring methods are developed to measure energy delivery to tissues. MRI has numerous advantages in evaluating the irreversible effects of laser treatment in tissues, since laser energy includes changes not only in the thermal motions of hydrogen protons within the tissue, but also in the distribution and mobility of water and lipids. These techniques should greatly improve the use of ILT in combination with MRI to allow treatment of deeper, more difficult to reach tumors of head and neck and other anatomical areas with a single needle stick.