In the first-ever published study of simultaneous MRI and PET image acquisition in patients with bladder cancer, researchers in NYU Langone’s Department of Radiology and Department of Urology have shown that this novel technology, which simultaneously acquires FDG-PET and MRI imaging, can greatly improve co-registration accuracy of PET and MRI images. The small investigational study of six patients, published in Clinical Nuclear Medicine in August 2015, demonstrated that simultaneous imaging improved the accuracy of co-registration of bladder tumors and pelvic lymph nodes.
The findings suggest potential utility of PET/MRI for assisting in the diagnostic evaluation of bladder cancer patients. Conventional PET/CT scan imaging, in comparison, performs fusion of PET images acquired in a sequential, rather than a truly simultaneous, fashion. Led by Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, MD, associate professor of radiology and urology, and Arjun V. Balar, MD, assistant professor of medicine and co-leader of the genitourinary cancer program at the Perlmutter Cancer Center, the research team is investigating whether the use of hybrid PET/MRI in a larger series can improve staging of complex bladder cancer, as well as assist in treatment decision making through the development of predictive imaging biomarkers.