HealthDay News — Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging (WB-MRI) could be a quicker alternative to multimodality staging of colorectal cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to two studies published online May 9 in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology and The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
Stuart A. Taylor, M.B.B.S., M.D., from University College London, and colleagues compared the diagnostic accuracy and efficiency of WB-MRI-based staging pathways to that of standard pathways among 299 patients with newly diagnosed colorectal cancer. The researchers found that pathway sensitivity was 67 and 63 percent for the WB-MRI and standard pathways, respectively (P = 0.51); specificity was 95 and 93 percent, respectively (P = 0.48). The time to complete staging was shorter for WB-MRI versus the standard pathway (median, eight versus 13 days). Fewer tests were required for WB-MRI than for standard pathways (median, one versus two). Mean per-patient staging costs were £216 and £285 for the WB-MRI and standard pathways, respectively.
In a second study, Taylor and colleagues compared WB-MRI-based staging pathways to standard pathways in 187 patients with NSCLC. The researchers found that pathway sensitivity was 50 and 54 percent for the WB-MRI and standard pathways, respectively (P = 0.73), and specificity was 93 and 95 percent, respectively (P = 0.45). Time to complete staging was 13 and 19 days for the WB-MRI and standard pathways, respectively. The number of tests required was similar for the WB-MRI and standard pathways (one each). The mean per-patient staging costs were £317 and £620 for the WB-MRI and standard pathways, respectively.
“Adopting whole body MRI more widely could save rather than increase costs, as well as reducing the time before a patient’s treatment can begin,” Taylor said in a statement.
Several authors from both studies disclosed financial ties to the medical imaging industry.