A study looking at scans to measure the growth of blood vessels in cancer

Cancer type:

All cancer types





This study is looking at measuring the growth of blood vessels in a number of cancers using the combination of a PET scan and a CT scan (PET-CT scan) and a PET scan combined with an MRI scan (PET- MR scan).

All cells need oxygen and food (nutrients) to grow. Blood vessels deliver the oxygen and nutrients to the cells. When cancer cells begin to grow and multiply, they need to create their own blood supply to get the oxygen and nutrients. This is called angiogenesis.

The CT scan is able to show a detailed picture of your cancer. The PET scan uses a radioactive drug to look at the activity of your cancer cells. By combining them into one scan, the researchers hope they are better able to see how the blood vessels are growing around the cancer. PET-CT scans are already used in some cancers but not in others.

The MRI scan uses strong magnets to build up a picture of the inside of the body. The researchers think that using a combined PET scan and MRI scan (PET-MR scan) maybe better than a PET-CT scan.

The aims of this study are to

  • Find out how good PET-CT scan is at measuring the growth of blood vessels around a cancer
  • Find out if measuring the blood supply of the cancer with a PET-CT scan can be used to find out how fast the cancer is growing
  • Compare PET-MR scans and PET-CT scans

Trial design

This study will recruit 1,800 people. Everyone taking part will have a

  • PET-CT scan
  • CT scan
  • PET-MR scan

You cannot eat or drink (apart from water) for 6 hours before the PET-CT scan.

Before having the PET-CT scan, you have a radioactive sugar, called FDG. You have this as an injection into a vein.

People with bowel cancer, a cancer of the bladder and kidney or oesophageal cancer will have a drug called buscopan to relax the bowel and the food pipe (oesophagus). It slows down their actions during the scan. You have buscopan as an injection into a vein.

After the scans, you go on to have surgery as planned.

Hospital visits

After your surgery, you see the doctor 1 month later and then every 6 months for 5 years.

Side effects

Having a PET-CT scan does mean that you are exposed to a low dose of radiation. Any exposure to radiation slightly increases the risk of developing cancer in the future. But this small increase in risk should be balanced against the possible benefit of diagnosing and treating your cancer.

We have more information about PET-CT scan and CT scan.



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

Professor Ashley Groves

Supported by

Addenbrookes Hospital
GE Healthcare
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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