New MRI Technique Could Offer Radiation-Free Alternative for Visualizing Pediatric Tumors
Stanford, CA - A new type of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test could be an alternative to standard positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging for assessing cancer in children and young adults, but without exposure to radiation that has been shown to increase the risk of secondary cancers in later life.
In The Lancet Oncology, a research team from the Stanford University School of Medicine reports that the new scanning technique, which uses an iron supplement (ferumoxytol) to enhance tumour visibility, appears to be just as effective as PET/CT imaging with comparable sensitivities, specificities, and diagnostic accuracy.
"Although our initial results need to be confirmed in larger groups of patients, in our study whole-body MRI performed well enough to be immediately clinically applicable and could relieve young patients from the risks of radiation exposure due to medical imaging", says Dr Heike Daldrup-Link, who led the research.
CT and 18F-fludeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT scans are the main tests for assessing the extent of disease (staging) and to determine treatment planning and prognosis. Use of this technology has increased rapidly over the past several years and the potential cancer risks are well established, especially in children, who are more radiosensitive than adults and live long enough to encounter secondary cancers. Continue>
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