New combined PET/CT scanner shows significant improvement over CT and PET in staging tumors

06/16/04

PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 20, 2004 – Early and accurate detection of oncological disease is critical to the treatment and, ultimately, survival of patients suffering from cancer. In an effort to determine the accuracy of an integrated PET/CT scanner with more traditional diagnostic imaging methods for whole-body, malignant tumors, researchers in Essen, Germany, compared the imaging results of the integrated FDG-PET/CT with CT images alone, PET images alone, and CT and PET images viewed side-by-side.

The scientists theorized that the new technologically superior, dual-modality PET/CT would yield more accurate readings of tumor staging than previously used image capture methods. The German team presented their findings at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 51st Annual Meeting.

The study included 260 patients with a variety of oncological diseases. The patients underwent whole-body imaging, and the results of the four image sets--CT alone, PET alone, CT and PET viewed side by side, and integrated PET/CT--were evaluated by different reader teams according to the TNM (Tumor-Node-Metastasis) staging system. Histopathology and follow-up clinical assessment of the patients served as the baseline standard of reference.

The results were exceptional, as the PET/CT proved significantly more accurate in all TNM stages. Of the 260 patients evaluated, 84% (218 patients) were correctly staged with FDG-PET/CT, as compared to 76% (197 patients) in PET and CT side-by-side analysis, 63% (163 patients) in CT alone, and 64% (166 patients) in PET alone.

The results of this study show the diagnostic superiority of FDG-PET/CT over side-by-side PET and CT, PET alone, and CT alone, and the impact of the diagnostic advantage will affect treatment options in a substantial number of patients. According to Gerald Antoch, MD, a contributing author of the study, "We are ecstatic with the results. Obviously, when dealing with all types of cancers, the sooner we can get to the treatment better. The new tumor imaging method using the integrated PET/CT will now allow doctors and patients to get an earlier jump on the disease."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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