Cervical cancers that take up a lot of blood sugar, or glucose, are more resistant to treatment than those that are less glucose-hungry, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The researchers also found that the high glucose-uptake tumors can be identified with PET scans, which are already routinely used to determine tumor size and lymph node involvement in cervical cancer patients.
PET scans monitor the amount of a radioactive glucose tracer absorbed by cells, so the brightness of the image reveals how much glucose a tumor takes up. The results of the research teams analysis indicate that PET scans can be used to better determine prognosis in cervical cancer patients.
"Cervical tumors vary more in their glucose uptake than other kinds of cancer, making glucose uptake a very useful indicator for cervical cancers," says Perry W. Grigsby, M.D., a radiation oncologist with the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "We found that the tumors with higher uptake were associated with lower survival rates and lower disease-free survival rates."
Gwen Ericson | EurekAlert!
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