Last year in the UK over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials aimed at improving cancer treatments and making them available to all.
A study to look at a possible new way to diagnose cancer of the thyroid
This study used different types of MRI scans to gather information about growths on the thyroid gland.
These results were published in 2016.
More about this trial
If you have a lump (nodule) on your
But it can be difficult to get clear results and a proper diagnosis using biopsies. To make sure, you may need surgery to remove part of your thyroid gland. You might then need further surgery, or other treatment, depending on your situation.
Doctors in this study looked at another possible way of studying these lumps. They used scans similar to
Diffusion weighted MRI (DWI) helps show up damaged tissue. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) looks at chemical changes linked to disease in body tissues.
The aim of this study was to see how well these types of scan could improve diagnosis of thyroid gland lumps before surgery.
Summary of results
The team found that diffusion weighted MRI (DWI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) could possibly be used to improve diagnosis of thyroid gland lumps.
46 people took part in this study. Everyone had surgery to remove some or all of their thyroid.
Before surgery everyone had a:
- standard MRI scan
- diffusion weighted MRI scan
- magnetic resonance spectroscopy
When the team looked at the diffusion weighted MRI scans they found them to be clearer and easier to read.
For the magnetic resonance spectroscopy the team said it might have the potential to show the difference types of thyroid cancer. And that it might also be a way to identify what is normal tissue and what is cancer tissue.
The team concluded that more studies with larger numbers of people are needed to confirm if DWI and MRS can improve the diagnosis of thyroid lumps.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Mr Piyush Jani
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
University of Cambridge