Breast MRI scan could determine need for radiation therapy

SEATTLE -- For women whose breast cancer has spread to their lymph nodes, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan could replace exploratory surgery as the method for determining whether those women need radiation therapy to treat their disease, according to a study to be presented during the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) which opens today in Boston.

In a retrospective study of 167 patients who underwent radiation therapy for invasive breast cancer after surgical staging of their tumors, physician researchers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and University of Washington Medical Center found that the tumors' physiological information shown on MRI scans correlated with surgically based findings of cancer having spread to lymph nodes. This suggests that breast MRI could help determine if women scheduled to undergo surgery will later need radiation therapy and how much.

source: Seattle Cancer Sare Alliance


CT Scans Change Treatment Plans in More Than a Quarter of ER Patients with Suspected Appendicitis

CT scans change the initial treatment plans of emergency physicians in over ¼ of patients with suspected appendicitis, according to a study performed at the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.

During the study 100 adult patients admitted to the ER for symptoms of appendicitis were evaluated. The treatment plans of these patients were assessed before and after CT and compared. Results showed that “treatment plans changed in 29% of patients as a result of CT. In many instances, CT ruled out appendicitis when the treatment plan prior to the scan was surgical consultation, eliminating the potential for unnecessary surgery on patients with a normal appendix,” according to Robert O. Nathan, MD, lead author of the study.

“The data suggest that CT can be withheld in patients in whom emergency clinicians rate the likelihood of appendicitis as unlikely but that CT findings are often of benefit when appendicitis is judged to be very likely,” said Dr. Nathan.

source: ARRS


Preventing Infection in MRI

Healthcare- and community- associated infections are a major and growing
problem in the United States as well as throughout the world.
Healthcare associated infections (HAI’s) constitute a major public health
problem in the United States affecting 5 to 10 percent of hospitalized patients
annually, resulting in approximately 2 million cases of HAI’s , 90,000 deaths
and adding $4.5 to $5.7 billion in healthcare costs1,2.

Most patients with serious infections typically have some type of imaging
procedure performed during the course of their treatment. Radiology
departments and outpatient imaging centers must take appropriate action to
assure patients that their MRI scanner is not a significant hub for
microorganisms capable of causing infectious diseases. However, for a
multitude of reasons, MRI suites often lack the most basic of safeguards
against infection, where, due to its unique environment, it is extremely
difficult to implement and maintain an effective infection control policy.
Because of the dangers from extremely strong magnetic fields 3, as
demonstrated by a well-publicized patient death from an accident in an MRI
4,5, housekeeping staff and most cleaning equipment are usually prohibited
from entering the MRI suite. The resultant lack of thorough cleaning was
clearly demonstrated in a recent study from Ireland that cultured MRSA
from within the bore of the MRI system6.

complete article and video at: Patient Comfort Systems


GE Healthcare Unveils Signa MRI Oncology Package at ASTRO

BOSTON, SEPTEMBER 21, 2008 – GE Healthcare is launching today its new Signa Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Oncology Package at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology’s 50th annual meeting in Boston.

The Signa MRI Oncology Package, a dedicated oncology solution, enhances magnetic resonance imaging for radiation therapy planning and is compatible with the most widely used GE MRI systems. The package consists of a detachable flat-surface patient table with indexed edges, flexible surface coils for high resolution imaging and treatment positioning aids.

“MRI is widely considered the modality of choice for imaging brain, spine and other soft tissue tumors,” said Bryan Van Meter, MRI global marketing manager for surgical and radiation oncology at GE Healthcare. “We are committed to providing radiation oncologists and cancer centers with the tools to easily integrate high-definition MRI imaging into their treatment plans.”

source: GE Healthcare


Siemens Announces Study Results of New Imaging Biomarker

Moving personalized medicine from promise to practice, Siemens Healthcare (www.siemens.com/healthcare) announces the early study findings of a new imaging biomarker for hypoxic tumors. The study, done in collaboration with Dr. Jian Q. (Michael) Yu, and Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, was presented today at the World Molecular Imaging Conference in Nice, France. This imaging biomarker is intended for exclusive world wide distribution by PETNET Solutions, a fully owned Siemens subsidiary.

The results of the safety study indicated that HX4, a new imaging biomarker developed at Siemens Molecular Imaging Biomarker Research, is safe for use in human positron emission tomography (PET) imaging studies. The study included initial human data regarding bio-distribution of the new agent, radiation dosimetry levels in normal volunteers and optimal patient imaging parameters with PET. Results of the study indicated that the compound was found to be stable for imaging at 145 minutes post injection, that it would safely clear the body through urinary elimination and that there were very low dose accumulations in major organs.

source: Siemens Healthcare

Medicsight Announces American College of Radiology Imaging Network ("ACRIN") Trial Shows CT Colonography Now an Option for Colon Cancer Screening

NEW YORK, Sept 23, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Medicsight PLC, a subsidiary of MGT Capital Investments, Inc. (Amex: MGT), and an industry leader in the development of Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) and image analysis software, today announced that the National U.S. Computerized Tomography (CT) Colonography Trial (ACRIN study 6664), shows CT colonography was able to detect 90% of asymptomatic patients with colonic polyps or cancers of 10mm and larger, compared with the gold standard examination of optical colonoscopy. The results are expected to lead to wider adoption of CT colonography (also known as CTC) as a routine screening examination for colorectal cancer.

David Sumner, CEO of Medicsight, commented: "We are delighted with the results of this study, which confirms our belief in CTC as a non-invasive alternative to optical colonoscopy for the screening of colon cancer. The level of sensitivity that can be achieved for the detection of polyps is extremely high, and because of its non-invasive nature we believe there will be a greater uptake of this type of screening in the future for those at greatest risk of developing colon cancer. CTC will undoubtedly improve the diagnostic and treatment options of patients with this devastating disease. We predict that Medicsight's ColonCAD product will be a direct beneficiary of this trend towards utilizing CTC as the colon cancer screening modality of choice."

source: MGT


Results Of The National CT Colonography Trial Raise Questions For Patients

Results of the National CT Colonography Trial, published in the September 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, show improvements in the technology's ability to diagnose intermediate- to large-sized polyps in the colon, but this method of testing is not as effective in diagnosing small polyps. CT colonography is one of several colorectal cancer screening options. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) encourages patients to speak to their doctor about the screening method that is best for them.

"Colorectal cancer is largely preventable and curable when diagnosed in its early stages. Screening saves lives. Unfortunately, far too few people undergo screening for colorectal cancer. Any advances that result in increased screening of the population are encouraging," said ASGE President John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE. "The results of this trial may prompt those who otherwise would have avoided being tested, to get screened for colorectal cancer. With so many different options to screen for colorectal cancer, it is important to talk to your doctor and discuss which screening method is best for you. Each screening option has appropriate applications and limitations."

source: Medical News Today


PET Scans Lead to Treatment Changes in Majority of Colorectal Cancer Patients

Reston, Va.—In the largest multi-institutional study to date examining the impact of positron emission tomography (PET) in changing disease management of individuals with suspected recurrent colorectal cancer, researchers found that treatment plans were changed for more than half of patients, according to an article in the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

The study was conducted at four sites throughout Australia and comprised 191 patients who were divided into two groups. Group A consisted of symptomatic patients who had residual structural lesions suspicious for recurrent tumor after initial therapy. Group B comprised patients with pulmonary or hepatic metastases that were potentially operable. These results were compared with findings from conventional imaging (such as computed tomography or CT), and participants were followed for 12 months.



PTB Unites Magnetic Resonance And Radar Technology In One Prototype

Don't move a muscle! Patients certainly have to take this request to heart if they have to lie in a magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) device otherwise movement artefacts result on the images produced by the MRT. These are distorting elements in the image which show the movement of the body, but not the body itself. Movement is a disturbing factor which leads to blurring and "ghosting" in the MRT image. Patients, however, have to have not only a lot of patience but also endurance, as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test can take up to 30 minutes. But even if the patient does not move once during the whole time, movement artefacts cannot be ruled out. Some parts of the body are always moving for example the lungs expand when you breathe in and the chest goes up and down. The movement of the heart muscle also leads to distortions in the image as it changes shape during the pumping cycle. With the aid of an ultra-broadband radar device, these vital movements during measurement can be taken into consideration and the MRI measurements can be corrected. The joint use of both technologies is being tested with the aid of a prototype developed at the Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, Germany's national metrology institute), which arose in co-operation with Ilmenau University of Technology. This project is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, the German Research Foundation) in the frame of a priority programme running for six years.

source: Medical News Today


Routine Use Of MRI Scans To Evaluate Breast Cancer Challenged By Study

A new study suggests women with newly-diagnosed breast cancer who receive an MRI after their diagnosis face delays in starting treatment and are more likely to receive a mastectomy. The study, presented at the 2008 ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium, also shows that despite lack of evidence of their benefit, the routine use of MRI scans in women newly diagnosed increased significantly between 2004 and 2005, and again in 2006.

"We have yet to see any evidence that MRI improves outcomes when used routinely to evaluate breast cancer, and yet more and more women are getting these scans with almost no discernable pattern," said Richard J. Bleicher, M.D., F.A.C.S., a specialist in breast cancer surgery at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "For most women, an MRI scan prior to treatment is unnecessary. MRI can be of benefit because it's more sensitive, but with the high number of false positives and costs associated with the test, more studies are needed to determine whether MRI can improve outcomes in women with breast cancer."

source: Medical News Today


3T MRI Leads to Better Diagnosis for Focal Epilepsy

3T MRI is better at detecting and characterizing structural brain abnormalities in patients with focal epilepsy than 1.5T MRI, leading to a better diagnosis and safer treatment of patients, according to a recent study conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. “Patients with focal epilepsy have recurrent seizures that result from a specific area of their brain, usually due to a structural brain abnormality,” said Bronwyn E. Hamilton, MD, senior author of the study.

3T MRI detected 65 of 74 cases, compared to 55 of 74 cases detected by 1.5T MRI; lesions were accurately characterized in 63 of 74 cases using 3T MRI, compared to 51 of 74 cases using 1.5T MRI. “Detection refers to lesions that were found and characterization refers to how accurately we were able to determine what type of abnormality the lesion was, such as tumor versus vascular malformation versus congenital deformity,” said Dr. Hamilton.

soyrce: ARRS

Study Finds Portable CT Significantly Reduces Cost and Improves Care of ICU Patients

DANVERS, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to a Cleveland Clinic study published in the March/April issue of the Journal of the American Healthcare Radiology Administrators, NeuroLogica’s CereTom® Portable Head/Neck multi-slice CT Scanner was found to have a dramatic economic and clinical benefit while imaging Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.

The study, conducted by Thomas Masaryk M.D., Department Chair of Diagnostic Radiology at Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues, concluded that portable head/neck CT scanning:

1. Provided significant savings in terms of cost and time while providing clinicians with diagnostic images equivalent to that of their fixed full body scanners

2. Allowed the fixed conventional scanner to be dedicated for a greater number of outpatient studies by eliminating the bottleneck of time-intensive ICU patients

3. Eliminated clinical dangers associated with the transport of critically ill patients

The researchers based their results on 502 scans performed on ICU patients over a 4 month period.

source: Business Wire