Diagnostic imaging may lead to more effective lung cancer treatment for some patients in the future.
This is according to scientists in Belgium, who used diffusion-weighted MRI scans to diagnose cancerous inflammations in patients' pulmonary tissue.
They found the diagnostic method to be more accurate than current CT scanning methods at differentiating between benign lesions and malignant ones. MRI imaging is also non-invasive and does not expose the patient to any radiation.
As well as potentially preventing investigative surgery, Dr Johan Coolen, from University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium hopes these new findings "could help to classify patients with lung cancer to enable doctors to provide the most effective therapeutic procedures".
Cancer Research UK states two-thirds of patients are not given the option of curative treatment because of late diagnosis - as a result the disease has some of the lowest survival rates of any form of cancer in the UK