New thesis on MRI in patients with cervical carcinoma
Susanne Fridsten at the research group Diagnostic Radiology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, will defend her thesis "Carcinoma of the uterine cervix: aspects on preoperative staging and assessment of treatment effect using magnetic resonance imaging" on April 21, 2022. Main Supervisor is Lennart Blomqvist.
What's the main focus of your thesis?
My thesis focuses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with cervical carcinoma, both as part of the initial work-up, but also during treatment with chemoradiotherapy (CRT).
Which are the most important results?
One important finding was that contrast-enhancement is unnecessary at baseline MRI in the work-up for patients receiving surgical treatment. We have updated our clinical MRI protocol accordingly. We also found that tumour visibility vs non-visibility on baseline MRI has no impact on the long-term outcome in patients with small tumours. A study on experienced and less experienced reviewers of MRI and ultrasound showed that consistent results on image review could be reached following a short training session, and that reproducibility was higher for MRI than for ultrasound. In a pilot-study including 15 patients, the results indicated that the risk of relapse can be predicted already at 5 weeks after initiation of CRT, using MRI.
How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people's health?
As described above, as a direct consequence of the first study, contrast-enhanced sequences have been excluded from the MRI protocol at Karolinska, in the work-up of patients with cervical carcinoma. This shortens the examination time and makes it less unpleasant for the patients.
Given that our results from the pilot-study can be validated in larger studies, this may contribute to individualized treatment resulting in less morbidity in expected “responders”, and adjusted treatment during therapy for expected “non-responders” and thereby possibly improving survival.
What are your future ambitions?
Now my focus is on the dissertation. Thereafter I will see what the future holds. Initially, I will focus on completing my training to become a specialist also in nuclear medicine.