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Home News and Update Year 2010 MRI Can Detect Cancer Spread Early

MRI Can Detect Cancer Spread Early

Times of India
21 May 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Pune, India

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, a radiologist with Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital (DMH) here has shown that the spread of breast cancer to the brain, bones and liver can accurately be detected even before the symptoms show in these organs.

"It is important that we detect the spread of cancer (metastasis) to ensure that the patient gets appropriate treatment. Our study has shown that whole body MRI can accomplish this. It is a pilot study to determine whether whole body MRI can be used as an effective total body imaging tool for the detection of metastasis," DMH radiologist Joshita Singh, who spearheaded the study with oncosurgeon Dhananjay Kelkar, told TOI on Wednesday.

Singh presented her findings at the American Roentgen Ray Society's meeting in San Diego on May 6.

Elaborating, Kelkar said, "We found that whole body MRI is good for detecting brain, liver and bone metastasis. Whole body MRI is also a non£radiating tool."

The study involved retrospective analysis of data of 99 breast cancer patients who underwent whole body MRI for detection of metastasis from May 2005 to September 2009.

"We used a comprehensive protocol for whole body MRI that included contrast enhanced imaging and complemented it with a plain CT chest acquisition. We used clinical follow£up to verify the MRI findings," said Singh.

Of the 99 patients, 52 had no metastasis on their first MRI. Of the 52 patients, 46 were disease£free at a median follow£up of 21 months. Of the 47 patients who were positive for metastasis, 37 are either dead or have disease progression (most despite treatment) while 10 have their disease under control after receiving appropriate therapy.

Kelkar said that they preferred to conduct the study only on breast cancer patients because there are higher chances of spread of the disease to other organs among such patients as opposed to those suffering from other forms of cancers.

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