photo: MRI image of a breast
MRI image of a breast;
© Visuals Online

The study summarises an extensive review of published, peer-reviewed studies. Among the key recommendations are:

"Exciting research over the past decade makes it clear that breast MRI finds cancers that are missed by mammography and ultrasound," said Connie Lehman, corresponding author of the study. "The next phase of research is to understand more completely the impact of this improved cancer detection on treatment outcomes."

"Health care policy decisions regarding the use of important but expensive technology must be based upon evidence that these tools are providing measurable benefit to patients," Benjamin Anderson, co-author of the study, said. "This study provides that evidence for breast MRI."

Breast MRI is a relatively new clinical tool for detecting breast cancer and techniques for using the sensitive equipment vary by site. Lehman and colleagues urge that clear standards for technical parameters be established, as well as performance measures at clinical sites that offer MRI.; Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center