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Whole body imaging detects myeloma in more patients – study

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The School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences led the new research

Researchers from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences have shown that whole body magnetic resonance imaging (WBMRI) detects myeloma in more patients.

In a study published today in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, researchers looked at 46 patients with suspected myeloma, a debilitating bone marrow cancer which sees 140,000 new cases each year globally.

Lead researcher Professor Vicky Goh said WBMRI is the most sensitive test for bone marrow infiltration by myeloma compared to PET/CT or CT alone as this type of imaging shows up different processes within the skeleton.

“Our results showed that imaging with WBMRI changed how patients would have been managed by their doctors in 24% of cases, where review of clinical data alone would have resulted in surveillance only.

“What this ultimately means for patients is improved outcomes from earlier treatment.”

“WBMRI resulted in a decision-to-treat in an additional 7% of patients compared with PET/CT.”

Goh said that WBMRI & PET/CT only agreed on a positive diagnosis of myeloma in 59% of patients. Just under half of the patients did not have FDG-avid disease and would have been undetected by PET alone.

She also said that the study supports national guidance for improving healthcare distributed by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and that WBMRI should be performed as a first-line imaging test for suspected myeloma.

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