Three-dimensional MRI scans differentiated live and dead tumor tissue, providing more accuracy than 2-D images of how successful chemotherapy is for patients with liver cancer, according to a press release.
Researchers conducted multiple studies on 140 patients with liver tumors in Baltimore that compared 2-D and 3-D imaging techniques, the release said. All patients were treated at the Johns Hopkins Hospital between 2003 and 2012 and received pre- and post- chemoembolization MRI scans to examine the effects of therapy on the tumors.
“Our high-precision, 3-D images of tumors provide better information to patients about whether chemoembolization has started to kill their tumors so that physicians can make more well-informed treatment recommendations,” Jean-Francois Geschwind, MD, director of vascular and interventional radiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in the release.
The error margin for the 3-D analysis was low (10%) when predicting the amount of dead tumor tissue, compared with the 2-D method that deviated by as much as 40% from actual values, the release said.
According to the release, 3-D scans use computer analytics to evaluate the amount of contrast dye absorbed by the tumor tissue, with live tissue absorbing more of the injected dye than the dead tissue, making it more easily read. Knowledge of a patient’s response to chemoembolization, particularly in those with moderate to advanced disease stages, can benefit clinicians by determining whether a tumor can be removed.
With 3-D imaging, patients who responded well to therapy lived 19 months longer than those who did not respond well (average 42 months vs. 23 months survival), the release said. By comparison, differences in survival between responders and those who did not respond well averaged 18 months longer with standard 2-D imaging.