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Evidence for routine brain tumor imaging is murky, but research can shed light

Evidence for routine brain tumor imaging is murky, but research can shed light
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What is the best way to monitor a brain tumor? This question is at the heart of a new Position Statement published in open-access journal Frontiers in Oncology. The article is the work of a large collaboration of UK experts and stakeholders who met to discuss the value of routinely imaging brain tumor patients to assess their tumor treatment response, which is known as “interval imaging”. Their verdict: there is very limited evidence to support the practice at present. However, the article also discusses how future research could determine and maximize the value of interval imaging by assessing its cost effectiveness and how it affects patient quality of life, treatment and survival.

Medical staff use brain scans at predetermined times to assess if a brain tumor patient is responding to treatment, but scanning frequency can range from every few weeks to every few months. Different countries and hospitals use different approaches, but what is the best approach and is any of this based on science?

Getting things right is important. Not scanning someone enough could mean that doctors miss the signs that a patient requires further treatment. Conversely, scanning someone excessively is inconvenient and impractical for patients and medical

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www.eurekalert.org

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