Since the publication of the Radiologic Diagnostic Oncology Group Report (RDOG) in 1991, the clinical application of pulmonary magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to patients with lung cancer has been limited. MDCT has been much more widely available for staging of lung cancer in clinical situations. Traditionally, FDG-PET or PET/CT is the only modality that reveals biological glucose metabolism of lung cancer, and ventilation and/or perfusion scintigraphy is the only modality that demonstrates pulmonary function. However, recent advances of MR systems and utilization of contrast media make it possible to overcome the limitation of chest MR imaging. Therefore, in the last years, several investigators have demonstrated the significant comprehensive potential of MR imaging to substitute for MDCT and nuclear medicine examinations in lung cancer staging. Currently, MR imaging in lung cancer patients can be applied for (1) detection of pulmonary nodules, (2) characterization of solitary pulmonary nodules, and (3) assessment of TNM classification in routine clinical practice. We believe that further basic studies, as well as clinical applications of newer MR techniques, will play an important role in the future management of patients with lung cancer including MRI.