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Cooper KL, Meng Y, Harnan S, et al. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the Assessment of Axillary Lymph Node Metastases in Early Breast Cancer: Systematic Review and Economic Evaluation. Southampton (UK): NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (UK); 2011 Jan. (Health Technology Assessment, No. 15.4.)

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Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the Assessment of Axillary Lymph Node Metastases in Early Breast Cancer: Systematic Review and Economic Evaluation.

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5Assessment of factors relevant to the NHS and other parties

Positron emission tomography and MRI are used in the management of many cancers, for staging and for assessing response to treatment. In the context of breast cancer, PET scanning at the time of diagnosis may have other advantages in addition to detection of axillary metastases. For example, whole-body PET scans may detect undiagnosed distant metastases or synchronous tumours.137,138

Availability of PET and MRI scanning facilities may be limited. If PET or MRI were recommended as part of the routine screening pathway for all patients with early breast cancer, this would mean a large increase in the number of PET or MRI procedures required. This issue would require careful consideration if PET or MRI were to be used in this setting. Also, a requirement for additional diagnostic techniques may add to the delay between diagnosis and treatment.

As there are contraindications associated with both PET and MRI, and some patients are unable to complete an MRI scan owing to claustrophobia, a subset of patients may be unable to undergo these techniques and may require alternative investigations.

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Included under terms of UK Non-commercial Government License.

Bookshelf ID: NBK109172
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