Combined positron emission tomography and computerized tomography (PET/CT) can help diagnose occult (hidden) recurrent cancer, possibly a cancer patients greatest post-treatment fear, report a team of Israeli physicians in the December issue of the Society of Nuclear Medicines "Journal of Nuclear Medicine."
PET and CT scans are standard imaging tools that allow clinicians to pinpoint the location of cancer within the body before making treatment recommendations. PET/CT involves sequential PET and CT imaging on the same device, allowing for simultaneous acquisition of functional (PET) and anatomical (CT) data. "PET/CT was found to indicate the presence of new malignancy and also precisely localize and define the extent of disease" in patients in whom recurring cancer was suspected, explained lead author and SNM member Ora Israel, M.D.
The physicians asked the question, "Is FDG-PET/CT Useful for Imaging and Management of Patients With Suspected Occult Recurrence of Cancer?" Their study points to an affirmative answer, said Israel, who also noted the need for these initial results to be confirmed in large studies with more homogenous patient populations. The research team studied 36 cancer patients for whom blood tests showed increasing levels of serum cancer markers during follow-up.
Maryann Verrillo | EurekAlert!
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