Study Shows Benefits of MRI Imaging when Staging Malignant Mesothelioma

Doctors’ appointments and a wide range of tests become a fact of life once you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. The rare form of cancer is notoriously challenging, but the more that is known about your tumors, the more effective your treatment plan will be. A recent study conducted by researchers at Pisa University Hospital in Italy revealed that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be more valuable in assessing the size and shape of mesothelioma tumors than had previously been appreciated.


Study Compares Value of MRI Imaging vs. CT Imaging for Mesothelioma Patients

The mesothelioma study was published in the medical journal Cancers. It examined the usefulness of MRI imaging as compared to computed tomography (CT), which is ordered more frequently by oncologists. CT scans represent a series of X-rays that are taken from multiple angles, then assembled in order to provide a three-dimensional view of whatever it is targeting. 

While this multi-dimensional view is extremely helpful in determining how far malignant mesothelioma tumors have spread in the body, as well as whether treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy have effectively stopped the disease’s progress, the Italian researchers determined that there are some applications for which MRI imaging is superior. 

MRI Imaging Provides Greater Soft Tissue Detail for Mesothelioma Diagnosis

According to the study’s authors, when it comes to diagnosing and staging pleural mesothelioma there are many advantages to the information provided by magnetic resonance imaging, particularly when it comes to providing patients with an accurate prognosis.

Because MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves rather than radiation, its images capture soft tissues extremely well. This is particularly useful when it comes to the extreme variability of mesothelioma tumors. In the study, lead author Chiara Romei writes, “Computer-based methods can make feasible tasks like segmentation that would otherwise be impracticable. MRI, thanks to its high soft tissue contrast, evaluation of contrast enhancement, and through diffusion-weighted-images, could replace CT in many clinical settings.”

For those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, clear information about their condition is invaluable. To learn about other resources and help available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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