A study looking at PET-CT scan and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) for brain tumours

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Brain (and spinal cord) tumours





This study is to see if a PET-CT scan and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can help doctors make an assessment of brain tumours. The study is open to people with a type of brain tumour called a glioma that is above the hind brain (cerebellum) and brain stem. Doctors call this a supratentorial glioma.

Diagram showing where the tentorium is in the brain

Doctors use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to diagnose brain tumours. They are best at finding out the size of the tumour and where it is. But they don’t give doctors all the information they would like.

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) scans are similar to MRI scans, but can give extra information. MRS scans may be able to give information about how quickly your tumour is growing and if certain treatments will work.

In this study, they are also looking at PET-CT scans. This scan combines a PET scan  and CT scan into one scan.

Before having a PET-CT scan, you have an injection of a small amount of radioactive drug called a tracer. In this study the researchers are using a tracer that may give doctors more information about your tumour and how fast it is growing.

The researchers will compare the results of these 2 scans with other tests done on a sample of your tumour tissue. The main aim is to find out how good MRS and PET-CT scans are for assessing gliomas.

Who can enter

You may be able to join this study if you are going to a hospital in the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and all of the following apply

You cannot join this study if any of these apply. You

  • Have already had radiotherapy or chemotherapy for your tumour
  • Have had an experimental drug as part of a clinical trial at anytime in the past
  • Are not able to have an MRI scan for some reason (for example, if you have a pacemaker, metal clips or other metal in your body)
  • Have any medical condition that the study team thinks could affect you taking part
  • Are pregnant

Trial design

This is a pilot study. The researchers need 12 people who are going to a hospital in the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to join.

You have an MRS (MRI spectroscopy) scan and PET-CT scan. Before the scans you have a fine plastic tube (cannula) put into a vein in each arm. The study team will use 1 of the tubes to take samples of blood during the scans.

They use the other tube to give you an injection of a substance called contrast medium Open a glossary item before the MRS scan. Before the PET-CT scan, they will inject a radioactive dye (tracer).

You have your surgery as planned a few weeks after the scans.

The study team will look at samples of tumour tissue taken when you have surgery.

Hospital visits

You have your MRS scan and PET-CT scan at the Hammersmith Hospital. Each scan takes about an hour. You have both scans on the same day.

Side effects

MRS (MRI spectroscopy) scan is a safe test and there shouldn’t be any side effects.

The total amount of radiation you have from the tracer for the PET-CT scan is about the same as 4 years of natural background radioactivity in the UK and should not be harmful to you.

We have more information on MRI scans and PET-CT scans.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Adam Waldman

Supported by

Imperial College London
NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) Award
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 12771

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Rhys was only four years old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour

A picture of Rhys

"He went through six operations and was placed on a clinical trial so he could try new treatments.”

Last reviewed:

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