Thoracic PET appropriate for diagnosing some lung cancer patients

May 05, 2004

Thoracic PET may be as useful as whole body FDG PET for evaluating patients with a single pulmonary nodule or early stage lung cancer, thus reducing radiation exposure to the patient, a new study suggests.

The study included 1,026 PET scans ordered for evaluation of a single pulmonary nodule or lung cancer staging. Twenty-six patients had distant metastases found on whole-body FDG PET; 25 of the 26 had metastases located within the confines of what would have been a thoracic PET examination, said Suzanne L. Aquino, MD, thoracic radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A whole-body FDG PET examination covers from the skull base to mid-thigh. A thoracic PET examination covers from the skull base through the kidneys.

All patients with distant metastases had lymph node disease, Dr. Aquino said. One patient had a distant metastasis only seen on whole body PET. She had advanced nodal disease, and therefore her management would not have significantly changed following the whole body PET examination, Dr. Aquino said.

Despite the positive results of the study, Dr. Aquino recommends proceeding with caution. If CT indicates that the patient has a local lung cancer and there are no indications that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, then thoracic PET is enough, she said. However, if nodal disease is suspected, the patient should undergo a whole body PET examination to detect the extent of metastases, Dr. Aquino said. Treatment varies dramatically between patients with limited lung cancer (surgical treatment) and those with cancer spread (nonsurgical treatment), so it is essential that appropriate measures be taken to diagnose metastases, Dr. Aquino added.

Thoracic PET examinations require less radiation than whole-body PET examinations when obtained with a dual PET/CT scanner. In addition, a thoracic PET examination takes 20 to 35 minutes less than a whole body examination, said Dr. Aquino. "In a busy PET center, this time savings could mean reduced delays in scheduling patients as well as less motion artifact during image acquisition," Dr. Aquino noted.

Dr. Aquino will present the study on May 5 during the American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL.

American College of Radiology

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to