Medical images are an integral part of oncological patient records and they are reviewed by many different specialists. Therefore, it is important that besides imaging experts, other clinicians are also aware that the diagnostic value of a scan is influenced by the applied imaging protocol. Based on two clinical lung cancer trials, we experienced that, even within a study protocol, there is a large variability in imaging parameters, which has direct impact on the interpretation of the image. These two trials were: 1) the NTR3628 in which the added value of gadolinium magnetic resonance imaging (Gd-MRI) to dedicated contrast enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT) for detecting asymptomatic brain metastases in stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) was investigated and 2) a sub-study of the NVALT 12 trial (NCT01171170) in which repeated F-18-fludeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (F-18-FDG-PET) imaging for early response assessment was investigated. Based on the problems encountered in the two trials, we provide recommendations for non-radiology clinicians, which can be used in daily interpretation of imaging. Variations in image parameters cannot only influence trial results, but sub-optimal imaging can also influence treatment decisions in daily lung cancer care, when a physician is not aware of the scanning details.
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Contrast-enhanced computed tomography
- Image guidelines