Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Birmingham Focused on MRI

Upon the diagnosis of early stage breast cancer, a patient may be advised to undergo a breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) so that the doctors could more accurately evaluate whether the patient should have a mastectomy or lumpectomy. An MRI offers very comprehensible and clear contrasts between the body’s various soft tissues. The MRI therefore boasts more enhanced imaging of the muscles, cancers, heart and brain than X-rays and computed technology (CT) scans.

Recent research has shown evidence that having an MRI before every surgery does not increase the doctor’s ability to make the right choice of surgery. In fact, research has revealed that the effectiveness of the surgeries and treatments advised by doctors upon seeing their patients’ MRI results have not been improved either. Although it is true that an MRI can better detect certain tumors and provide more enhanced imaging than other tests, the MRI detects malformations that look cancerous and therefore leads to more women having mastectomies when lumpectomies followed by radiation would have sufficed.

After reading their patients MRI results, doctors have changed up to about 20% of women’s surgery directives from lumpectomies to full-on mastectomies, and many of these were as a result of false positive tumors detected by the MRI. Having an MRI before surgery generally heavily reduces a woman’s risk of cancer recurrence in the same breast. However, there is research that has shown that surgeries performed with and without an MRI beforehand remove the same amount of cancer cells found in the edge of the surgically removed tissue.

With this data in mind, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Cancer Center is conducting a clinical trial to sort through claims and findings and discover the truth about the efficacy and precision of surgery done following an MRI. The MRI may improve the efficiency of cancer cell removal done by surgery and chemotherapy. The study being performed studies these results specifically in women who are undergoing chemotherapy for stage III breast cancer. This study, “Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Women Receiving Chemotherapy for Stage III Breast Cancer”, is an interventional trial that is currently recruiting female patients ages 18 and with locally advanced stage III breast cancer.

The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of forty prestigious “comprehensive” cancer centers in the United States. This center is both a referral center as well as a clinical research facility and conducts clinical trials in Birmingham. The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center prides itself on its cutting edge research, sophisticated patient care and esteemed reputation for being a paramount cancer entity in the country.