Seven-Minute MRI


DALLAS, TX (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Bone metastases occur in over 40 percent of patients with advanced breast, prostate, and kidney cancers. Bones weaken, break, and sometimes cause paralysis. A new approach to the MRI is detecting bone cancer sooner and saving lives.

After working in an oil refinery for 28 years, 64-year-old Joe Bird got kidney cancer, which spread throughout his body. His kidney, his brain, and now …

“I’ve got a big knot right here on my leg. I had it checked. It’s cancer,” Bird said.

The bone cancer was detected using a new MRI protocol called ‘detect,’ which can scan the entire body and provide high quality images in just seven minutes.

James Brugarolas, MD, PhD, Director, Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center said, “And three years later, he’s around and doing reasonably well, that’s quite amazing.” (Read Full Interview)

Typically, an MRI scan takes 20 to 90 minutes. The seven-minute MRI breakthrough developed by UT Southwestern in Dallas is fast and more accurate.

Dr. Brugarolas said, “With that protocol we can find metastases that are ordinarily missed with other forms of imaging in a way that is very quick.”

The magnetic resonance imaging scanners have been modified to provide images of the body without distortion and provide information that wasn’t available before.  That, plus immunotherapy, has been a life- saver for Bird.

Bird said, “I feel very special.”

“It takes a lot of courage to deal with cancer. And, an incredibly supportive environment and Joe has that.” Dr. Brugarolas shared.

Anita Bird, Joe’s wife, said, “And here we are three years later. We’re still fighting it.”

In this first study involving metastatic kidney cancer, investigators found 30 percent more bone metastasis that had been previously missed with conventional approaches.

Contributors to this news report include: Don Wall, Field Producer; Mark Montgomery, Videographer; Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Dave Harrison, Editor.


To receive a free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe, sign up at:






REPORT:        MB #4467


BACKGROUND:. Metastases occur when cancer cells spread from their original site to another region of the body, either in the bones or organs. There are complications that can arise from all types of metastasis. Those complications can range from bone weakness to extreme instances of paralysis. This is why precise and error- free scans are crucial in detection.

(Source: &


DIAGNOSING: Traditionally metastases is detected by way of a series of test options: a blood test to check the spread to the liver or bones, a bone scan to check if cancer has spread to the bones and an  X-ray or CT scan to check for spreading to the chest, abdomen and liver. With new advancements,  these traditional methods aren’t the most precise detectors.



NEW TECHNOLOGY: An MRI scan can take as little as ten mins to two hours depending on the case. New technological developments are not only shortening that scan time but are also allowing for more error- proof, thorough examination. More in-depth examination ensures, in some cases, earlier detection in which life-saving treatments can then be administered. “UT Southwestern has developed a protocol that allows us to scan the whole body in seven minutes…with that protocol they can find metastases that are ordinarily missed with other forms of imaging in a way that is very quick,” says medical oncologist James Brugarolas, MD, PhD, Director of the Kidney Cancer Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The seven-minute MRI, developed by UT Southwestern, is a revolutionary, refined MRI that is not only rapid but also far more accurate than CT Scans, X rays, and dated MRI machines; specifically in detecting metastases.






Avery Anderson, UT Southwestern, Dir Communications


If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at


Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for James Brugarolas, MD, PhD

Read the entire Q&A