18F-FDG PET better predictor of post-therapy Hodgkin's relapse than CT

August 20, 2003

Reston, VA - Each year, 8,000 Americans are diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic tissue. In order to offer the best prognosis, doctors must not only provide the original diagnosis, but also be able to detect relapses after therapy and determine which patients would benefit from additional treatment.

A recent study by Canadian doctors determined that PET scans using the radiopharmaceutical tracer 18F-FDG are very reliable in predicting relapses and much more accurate than CT scans.

The research, published in the August 2003 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, involved 48 Hodgkin's patients who underwent 18F-FDG PET scans after completion of chemotherapy. PET and CT results were compared to each other and with biopsy results. The diagnostic accuracy of 18F-FDG PET was 92%, while CT results were only correct in 56% of cases. Patients with positive 18F-FDG PET scans were also likely to experience a much briefer disease-free interval than those with positive CT scans - a median of 79 days as opposed to 1,143 for CT.

The study found that positive 18F-FDG PET results in Hodgkin's patients who have completed chemotherapy is a strong predictor of relapse, while negative results are an excellent indicator of a good prognosis.

Prognostic Value of PET Using 18F-FDG in Hodgkin's Disease for Posttreatment Evaluation was written by Christian Guay, MD, of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology, Faculty of Medicine; Jean Verreault, MD, and François Bénard, MD, of the Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology, Faculty of Medicine and the Metabolic and Functional Imaging Center, Clinical Research Center at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke; and Mariette Lépine, MD, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, all from the Université de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.
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Copies of the article and images related to the study are available to media upon request to Kimberly A. Bennett. Current and past issues of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be found online at jnm.snmjournals.org. Print copies can be obtained at $15 per copy by contacting the SNM Service Center, Society of Nuclear Medicine, 1850 Samuel Morse Drive, Reston, VA 20190-5315; phone: 703-326-1186; fax: 703-708-9015; email: servicecenter@snm.org. A yearly subscription to the journal is $170. A journal subscription is a member benefit of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.

The Society of Nuclear Medicine is an international scientific and professional organization of more than 14,000 members dedicated to promoting the science, technology, and practical applications of nuclear medicine. The SNM is based in Reston, VA.

Society of Nuclear Medicine

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