PET/MRI improves diagnostic certainty in breast cancer

Using the combined approach of PET and MRI, the key processes in the development of breast cancer can be visualized, allowing every second unnecessary breast biopsy to be avoided. This is the most significant finding of a study from the University Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine carried out in cooperation with other departments and centers  at the MedUni Vienna (Pinker K, et al. Improved Differentiation of Benign and Malignant Breast Tumors with Multiparametric 18Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography Magnetic Resonance imaging: A Feasibility Study. Clinical Cancer Research  2014).  Dr Pinker was able to demonstrate in the  recently published clinical study —  the first of its kind worldwide — that multi-parametric PET / MRI can achieve a diagnostic certainty of 96 per cent. This could mean that half of all breast biopsies of benign nodes could be avoided . The diagnosis of breast cancer was made for the first time using a combination of 3-Tesla MRI and FDG PET. By combining the two imaging methods, a variety of different information on the key processes involved in the development of breast cancer can be gleaned at the same time. The current study demonstrated that this multi-parametric PET/MRI allows a better non-invasive diagnosis of breast tumors: “It means we are able to distinguish more easily between benign and malignant tumors, thereby significantly reducing the number of false positives.”