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One whole-body MRI could replace multiple cancer scans

May 14, 2019 / Anna Smith

The National Institute for Health Research has announced that doctors could potentially use just one scan to assess the spread of a patient’s cancer instead of the current practice of multiple scans. Two studies published in Lancet Respiratory Medicine and Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology show that for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer, one whole-body MRI (WB-MRI) scan can work just as well as multiple scans, offering a quicker, cheaper alternative, preferred by patients and involving less exposure to radiation. The average cost of a WB-MRI scan for NSCLC patients was £317, half the £620 cost for multiple scans and the cost of a WB-MRI scan for colorectal patients was £216, compared with £285 for multiple scans.