Neuromodulation and the Epidemiology of Magnetic Resonance Utilization for Lung, Breast, Colon, and Prostate Cancer

Neuromodulation. 2020 Oct;23(7):912-921. doi: 10.1111/ner.13224. Epub 2020 Jul 24.


Background: Neuromodulation is a growing therapeutic modality for the treatment of chronic pain. Determining whether a patient is an appropriate candidate for implantation of a neuromodulatory device and whether the device requires an MRI conditional feature necessitates understanding the patient's likelihood of requiring an MRI. Active treatment of cancer represents known high-risk clinical scenarios for MRI. However, the growth of MRI as a tool for diagnosis of cancer also warrants consideration by implanting physicians when assessing high-risk patients.

Materials and methods: Here, we conduct a systematic review of the literature to determine the epidemiology for MR utilization for breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer. Out of 126 papers reviewed, 39 were ultimately analyzed to determine the relative likelihood of an MRI in the course of oncologic care.

Results: We find that there is a low likelihood for MRI to be utilized as part of any screening process and a variable likelihood during the staging and surveillance phases across all cancer subtypes depending on the clinical circumstances. Certain populations present special consideration for MRI screening, such as the high at-risk breast cancer population, and MRI surveillance and staging, such as aging males (>50 years old) at risk for prostate cancer or individuals diagnosed with rectal cancers.

Conclusion: High likelihood of MRI within the oncologic context represents important distinction criteria for neuromodulation as patients may benefit from implantation of an MR conditional system.

Keywords: MRI and cancer; MRI surveillance; Neuromodulation; cancer screening.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Colonic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Colonic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / therapy