Clinical diagnostic and treatment decisions rely upon the integration of patient-specific data with clinical reasoning. Cancer presents a unique context that influence treatment decisions, given its diverse forms of disease evolution. Biomedical imaging allows noninvasive assessment of disease based on visual evaluations leading to better clinical outcome prediction and therapeutic planning. Early methods of brain cancer characterization predominantly relied upon statistical modeling of neuroimaging data. Driven by the breakthroughs in computer vision, deep learning became the de facto standard in the domain of medical imaging. Integrated statistical and deep learning methods have recently emerged as a new direction in the automation of the medical practice unifying multi-disciplinary knowledge in medicine, statistics, and artificial intelligence. In this study, we critically review major statistical and deep learning models and their applications in brain imaging research with a focus on MRI-based brain tumor segmentation. The results do highlight that model-driven classical statistics and data-driven deep learning is a potent combination for developing automated systems in clinical oncology.