Properly managing the care of patients with high-risk prostate or breast cancer is a very real concern for oncologists. When the probability of metastatic disease is high, keeping track of any possible progression is a must for enabling the administration of potentially lifesaving treatments. Enter combined scanning technology.
While whole-body MRI scans can offer incredible insights into the status of a cancer patient’s health, this testing procedure has limitations. So do PET and CT scans when they are performed on their own. A recent study conducted by Stanford University, however, showed that combination technology can more readily detect skeletal lesions that a whole-body MRI scan can on its own. The study involved the use of a PET/CT scan combination.
The findings of the study may one day pave the way for changes in how patient treatment is managed in high-risk cases. While whole-body MRI scans remain the gold standard for monitoring high-risk patients, researchers say PET/CT scan combinations may offer more accurate insights when there is a high probability of metastases. More accurate detection and earlier detection may provide a way to deliver care more quickly in these cases.
While more study needs to be done on the topic, researchers say the powerful PET/CT scan combination offers a great deal of promise. So, too, does state-of-the art combination PET/MRI technology that is hoped to increase accuracy more while also lowering a patient’s exposure to radiation.
People who are diagnosed with high-risk cancer will find that testing procedures go along with the diagnosis. Whole-body MRI scans are commonly recommended to track the potential for disease progression. As Stanford’s study team found out, however, more advanced technology may offer greater insights down the road.
Those diagnosed with cancer are urged to discuss all testing and treatment options with their healthcare providers. The best recommendations for care and monitoring will depend on a patient’s unique case.