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Prof. Luis Martí-Bonmatí, head of the medical imaging department at La Fe Hospital in Valencia, Spain, explained how contrast-enhanced CT and MRI can help evaluate and predict response in abdominal oncology during ESGAR 2023, the annual meeting of the European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology that unfolded last week. 

‘It’s no longer only relevant to guess where the tumor is located, the properties, extension to the lymph node, metastasis and so on, but we also have to evaluate treatment – and not just in research trials, but also in clinical practice,’ he told Mélisande Rouger, publisher and executive editor of Diagnostic Imaging Europe, after a dedicated symposium organized by Bracco.

For several years, radiologists have used simple tools such as measurements and distances that were not good enough to assess changes induced by new therapies, he explained. ‘With new treatments, we need to evaluate biological changes, perfusion, vascularity, cellularity… And that’s why the use of contrast agents is quite important,’ he said. 

Radiologists should be aware of the gap between the guidelines that are available and the reality of clinical practice, he added. ‘Guidelines are critical (…) but they are based on population data that was obtained maybe five or ten years ago. With new medical images, contrast agents and software, we can also predict if those lesions will disappear after treatment.’