MR Trumps Clinical Exams in Breast Conservation, Research Shows

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Through the use of contrast-enhanced MRI, researchers believe they can determine the likelihood of breast conservation in cancer patients with greater accuracy than through conventional clinical examination.

“MRI size measurements were superior to clinical examination at all time points, with tumor volume change showing the greatest relative benefit at the second MRI exam,” read an RSNA press release that accompanied the results of the study. “MRI was better than clinical assessment in predicting both complete tumor response and residual cancer burden.”

In the same release, lead researcher Nola M. Hylton reported that MR helped “define not just the size of the tumor but its biological activity.”

The data set for this research was taken from ACRIN 6657 protocol; Hylton, et al., will also use I-SPY data to investigate whether MRI is a better predictor of breast cancer recurrence in results expected later in 2012.