1.3 million pound scanner to aid cancer patients

In collaboration with the Press Association

A new magnetic resonance imagine (MRI) scanner, dedicated to diagnosing cancer, was officially opened at the Queen's Medical Centre (QMC) in Nottingham today.

The machine is the first scanner of its kind in the UK and will help medics pinpoint signs of cancer in patients, even before their symptoms emerge. As many as 4000 patients a year are set to benefit from the 1.3 million pound, 5000 kg machine, which uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves, and promises higher resolution images and shorter scanning times. The QMC's MRI superintendent Andrew Cooper said: "This cutting edge 3T MR scanner is twice as powerful and faster than standard MRI machines, giving clearer images than ever before - even detecting blood flowing through a patient's arteries and veins. Patients will benefit from shorter scanning times and more precise sample taking. "It also has the potential for virtual biopsies - eventually doing away with the need for unnecessary invasive surgery as it will be able to detect if a tumour is benign and so doesn't need to be removed." The installation of the scanner is part of the Department of Health's Cancer Wave initiative, which has seen 93 million pounds of lottery money being invested nationwide in new cancer equipment.

Find out more about MRI scanning