The advantages of 1.5T MRI over other modalities for staging cancer are twofold: No radiation and decreased nephrotoxicity. In particular, radiologists focused on oncology say the modality is particularly useful for imaging brain tumors, noting that it is valuable for problem solving and treatment planning because of its superior capability to provide soft-tissue contrast.
In the wake of an explosion of oncology-related imaging, many hospitals have now set up separate radiation oncology information systems that not only store images but also keep track of dosage, planning and treatment data.
The merging of PET and MRI is producing synergies far beyond the capabilities of two distinct imaging modalities. The sum is clearly greater than its parts, according to researchers using both preclinical and clinical PET/MRI prototypes, notably because scanning is simultaneous rather than sequential like its PET/CT cousin, and the excellent soft tissue visualization MRI offers. A clinical prototype is being used to study human brain tumors, and researchers predict integrated whole-body human PET/MRI scanners will be available in the next couple of years.