Whole-body MRI compared with standard pathways for staging metastatic disease in lung and colorectal cancer: the Streamline diagnostic accuracy studies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

  • Streamline investigators

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University College London
  • UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON HOSPITALS
  • UCL
  • Birkbeck, University of London
  • King’s College London
  • Department of Radiology, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, UK
  • Mount Vernon Centre for Cancer Treatment, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, UK
  • Imaging Department, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK.

Abstract

Background: Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging is advocated as an alternative to standard pathways for staging cancer.

Objectives: The objectives were to compare diagnostic accuracy, efficiency, patient acceptability, observer variability and cost-effectiveness of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and standard pathways in staging newly diagnosed non-small-cell lung cancer (Streamline L) and colorectal cancer (Streamline C).

Design: The design was a prospective multicentre cohort study.

Setting: The setting was 16 NHS hospitals.

Participants: Consecutive patients aged ≥ 18 years with histologically proven or suspected colorectal (Streamline C) or non-small-cell lung cancer (Streamline L).

Interventions: Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging. Standard staging investigations (e.g. computed tomography and positron emission tomography–computed tomography).

Reference standard: Consensus panel decision using 12-month follow-up data.

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was per-patient sensitivity difference between whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and standard staging pathways for metastasis. Secondary outcomes included differences in specificity, the nature of the first major treatment decision, time and number of tests to complete staging, patient experience and cost-effectiveness.

Results: Streamline C – 299 participants were included. Per-patient sensitivity for metastatic disease was 67% (95% confidence interval 56% to 78%) and 63% (95% confidence interval 51% to 74%) for whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and standard pathways, respectively, a difference in sensitivity of 4% (95% confidence interval –5% to 13%; p = 0.51). Specificity was 95% (95% confidence interval 92% to 97%) and 93% (95% confidence interval 90% to 96%) respectively, a difference of 2% (95% confidence interval –2% to 6%). Pathway treatment decisions agreed with the multidisciplinary team treatment decision in 96% and 95% of cases, respectively, a difference of 1% (95% confidence interval –2% to 4%). Time for staging was 8 days (95% confidence interval 6 to 9 days) and 13 days (95% confidence interval 11 to 15 days) for whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and standard pathways, respectively, a difference of 5 days (95% confidence interval 3 to 7 days). The whole-body magnetic resonance imaging pathway was cheaper than the standard staging pathway: £216 (95% confidence interval £211 to £221) versus £285 (95% confidence interval £260 to £310). Streamline L – 187 participants were included. Per-patient sensitivity for metastatic disease was 50% (95% confidence interval 37% to 63%) and 54% (95% confidence interval 41% to 67%) for whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and standard pathways, respectively, a difference in sensitivity of 4% (95% confidence interval –7% to 15%; p = 0.73). Specificity was 93% (95% confidence interval 88% to 96%) and 95% (95% confidence interval 91% to 98%), respectively, a difference of 2% (95% confidence interval –2% to 7%). Pathway treatment decisions agreed with the multidisciplinary team treatment decision in 98% and 99% of cases, respectively, a difference of 1% (95% confidence interval –2% to 4%). Time for staging was 13 days (95% confidence interval 12 to 14 days) and 19 days (95% confidence interval 17 to 21 days) for whole-body magnetic resonance imaging and standard pathways, respectively, a difference of 6 days (95% confidence interval 4 to 8 days). The whole-body magnetic resonance imaging pathway was cheaper than the standard staging pathway: £317 (95% confidence interval £273 to £361) versus £620 (95% confidence interval £574 to £666). Participants generally found whole-body magnetic resonance imaging more burdensome than standard imaging but most participants preferred the whole-body magnetic resonance imaging staging pathway if it reduced time to staging and/or number of tests.

Limitations: Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging was interpreted by practitioners blinded to other clinical data, which may not fully reflect how it is used in clinical practice.

Conclusions: In colorectal and non-small-cell lung cancer, the whole-body magnetic resonance imaging staging pathway has similar accuracy to standard staging pathways, is generally preferred by patients, improves staging efficiency and has lower staging costs. Future work should address the utility of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging for treatment response assessment.

Trial registration: Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN43958015 and ISRCTN50436483.

Funding: This project was funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme and will be published in full in Health Technology Assessment; Vol. 23, No. 66. See the NIHR Journals Library website for further project information.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-314
Number of pages314
JournalHealth Technology Assessment
Volume23
Issue number66
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2019