Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study to see if MRI scans can help to spot cancer in people with a condition called Li Fraumeni syndrome (SIGNIFY)
This study looked at whether a whole body MRI scan would be useful in screening for cancers in people with a condition called Li Fraumeni syndrome.
More about this trial
When this trial was done, people aged between 20 and 50 who had LFS could have an MRI scan once a year to check for signs of breast cancer. But there weren’t any other screening tests available. Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease before they have any symptoms. Researchers wanted to see if a whole body MRI scan would be useful as a screening test for people with LFS.
The researchers recruited people who had a TP53 gene fault. They also recruited people who didn’t have a TP53 gene fault, so that they could compare the results. This group was called the control group. Everyone in the study had a whole body MRI scan.
The aim of this study was to find out whether having an MRI scan of the whole body is useful in screening for cancer in people with Li Fraumeni syndrome.
Summary of results
The research team found that a whole body MRI scan may be useful in screening for cancer in people with Li Fraumeni syndrome (LFS).
This study recruited 88 people:
- 44 who had LFS
- 44 who didn’t have LFS (the control group)
Everyone taking part had a MRI scan of their whole body.
The scans showed that 4 out of 44 people (9%) with LFS had cancer, including sarcomas and kidney cancer. Two of these people had 2 separate cancers. All 4 people went on to have treatment aimed at curing their cancer, because the cancer had been diagnosed early.
Another 2 people with LFS were diagnosed with cancer during the study, making 6 in total.
No one in the control group was diagnosed with cancer.
Some people taking part had other tests after their MRI scan. These included other scans, biopsies and X-rays. But the results showed they didn’t have cancer.
- 15 people with LFS had 35 tests
- 7 people in the control group had 8 tests
The research team concluded that whole body MRI scans could help diagnose cancer in people with Li Fraumeni syndrome. They suggest it might be a useful screening test for this group of people.
They think it could be useful to do this type of MRI scan as well as the breast MRI scan that is already available. But more research needs to be done with a larger group of people before it can be recommended for everyone.
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
Professor Ros Eeles
Cancer Research UK
The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
The Biomedical Research Centre of The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
The Annabel Evans Memorial Fund
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust