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

Cancer type:

Bladder cancer
Bone cancer
Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Brain (and spinal cord) tumours
Breast cancer
Head and neck cancers
Hodgkin lymphoma
Kidney cancer
Liver cancer
Lung cancer
Mouth (oral) cancer
Nasal and paranasal sinus cancer
Nasopharyngeal cancer
Non small cell lung cancer
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Oesophageal cancer
Pharyngeal cancer
Salivary gland cancer
Thyroid cancer





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).

More about this trial

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

Who can enter

You can enter this study if you have one of the following cancers

And all of the following apply. 

  • You have had a scan that shows your cancer is bigger than 1cm across
  • Your kidneys are working well enough
  • Yo are able to have an MRI scan if needed
  • You are at least 40 years old

You cannot enter this study if any of the following apply. You

  • Have another cancer or have had another cancer unless it was successfully treated more than 5 years ago
  • Are allergic to the dyes (contrast mediums) used for the CT scan and the MRI scan
  • Have severe claustrophobia

Trial design

The team need up to 7,800 people to join this study

  • 600 people each with lung cancer
  • 600 people with bowel  cancer
  • 400 people from the reamininbg cancer types

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, your doctor will tell you how often they want to see you.

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

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.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think