MRI scanners

MRI scanner

Supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity have helped to fund two high-tech MRI scanners in Chelsea, which will enhance our pioneering research and improve the diagnostic imaging experience for patients.

The Royal Marsden is leading the way in diagnostic imaging by investing in two state-of-the-art MRI scanners at the Reuben Foundation Imaging Centre in Chelsea. Two CT scanners will also be part of the centre, which is due to be completed by the end of 2014. The new centre will enable us to offer our patients the best in diagnostic imaging.

Superintendent Radiographer Cheryl Richardson says: “We’re delighted with the new scanners – they really are at the leading edge of imaging technology. We’ve had very positive feedback from patients.”

Two scanners – the best of both worlds

MRI scans are particularly important for soft-tissue cancers, such as brain, spinal cord, bowel, gynaecological and prostate cancers, as the magnetic resonance actually uses the properties of the soft tissue to create the detail in the image.

The 1.5T MRI scanner has a larger field of view and is more suitable for the future development of whole-body imaging. In contrast, the 3T MRI scanner provides incredible detail over a smaller field of view, allowing us to undertake clinical research trials that require this level of visual clarity.

As well as helping us to meet increased demand for MRI scanning, the combination of the 1.5T and 3T MRI scanners provides the maximum flexibility in clinical practice, allowing us to develop personalised treatment plans and producing exceptionally clear, detailed images of our patients’ tumours.

New research and trials

The 3T MRI scanner also enables us to undertake pioneering clinical trials that rely on high-resolution images, and to increase the number of patients who can take part. The Head and Neck Unit has three trials under way that all rely on the higher field strength of the 3T scanner to obtain exceptional image quality of small anatomical structures.

These studies mark the beginning of clinical MRI research at Chelsea, allowing us to recruit many more patients onto imaging studies more quickly, potentially increasing the speed of discovery.

Your support

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity donated £6.9 million to fund the 1.5T and 3T MRI scanners and the construction of the MRI suite.

Support The Royal Marsden and you’re investing in a future beyond cancer for you and everyone you know.

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“I am constantly excited by the possibilities MRI scanners offer us in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”
– Erica Scurr, Radiographer






1.5T MRI
Improved patient comfort and larger field of view, better for whole-body imaging






3T MRI
Much greater resolution over a small field of view for certain types of cancer, providing more detail and flexibility
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