14 recommendations on standardizing scanning in clinics

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Scanning for cancer is the first step in evaluating the best method of care for patients, yet some clinics cannot offer the best in scanning. Scientists from all over the world have compiled a list of recommendations for international standards in patient scanning.

In an effort to improve standards in imaging biomarkers (IBs), 78 international imaging specialists have compiled a list of 14 recommendations for accelerating the clinical translation of IBs, which was published in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

While current imaging technology can help in diagnosing and giving treatment options, scans capable of measuring biomarkers that show exactly what is happening in the body remain in the research stage. For example, scans capable of showing how anticoagulants work are not being used in part because the differing methodologies across hospitals. With a universal system of calibration, these research trails would be able to produce more effective results in showing the advancements of scanning techniques and get these effective imaging practices to patients.

"[Scans] have transformed how we treat patients with cancer every day. They have shown great promise for monitoring the effects of new drugs and other treatments as they undergo development,” said James O'Connor, MA, PhD, the study's lead author. "If these recommendations raise the bar in imaging research, we can expect scans to play a much greater role in personalized medicine and to further improve the lives of patients with cancer having cutting edge therapies."

Recommendations presented by the team included topics such as grant submissions, comparing scans with other tests and improve cost effectiveness.

"We want to make sure that the research we fund makes it to patients. An internationally agreed approach to accelerate the development and clinical use of imaging technology, could make us far more effective at diagnosing and tracking the disease,” said Jamie Meredith, Cancer Research U.K.'s Head of Therapeutic Discovery Funding.