New dynamic PET technique offers greater comfort for cancer patients

December 09, 2003

Reston, VA - In addition to giving the best possible physical care, medical professionals are concerned about fostering the emotional well being of individuals undergoing diagnosis or treatment for cancer. Combining these goals is a challenge German researchers undertook when they conducted a study to determine if dynamic PET provides useful data when taken over a shorter period than the traditional one-hour scan. The study revealed the shorter scan can provide an accurate diagnosis, not only decreasing false positive results (when tumors in cancer-free patients are misdiagnosed as cancerous) and predicting patient response to chemotherapy, but also providing for a more comfortable diagnostic experience.

In many PET diagnoses, nuclear medicine professionals use a simple visual evaluation to detect tumors. While this method is generally quite accurate, PET scans can have the tendency to result in false positives when tissue that is merely infected appears visually similar to a malignant tumor. Static PET scans allow doctors to assess standardized uptake value (SUV), which does provide some quantifiable data to differentiate between benign and malignant growths, but a dynamic PET scan can provide additional data about the rate of uptake and the movement of 18F-FDG through the body and tumor(s). This data, when analyzed mathematically, provides a more complete diagnosis.

Results of the German study, which was published in the December 2003 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, revealed that a 10-minute dynamic scan immediately after tracer injection coupled with a static scan 56-60 minutes after injection provided statistically accurate information about 18F-FDG influx, VB (vascular fraction), k1 and SUV. A comprehensive analysis of 151 data sets from patients with a variety of cancers allowed researchers to make this conclusion.

"Our goal was to delineate a procedure that provides more information than a static scan while also employing wise use of resources," the researchers stated. "Less time spent in the PET scanner is more comfortable for patients, and, from the perspective of the nuclear medicine practitioner, this procedure could also save both time and money."
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"Shortened PET Data Acquisition Protocol for the Quantification of 18F-FDG Kinetics" was written by Ludwig G. Strauss, MD, Antonia Dimitrakopoulou-Strauss, MD and Uwe Haberkorn, MD from Medical PET Group, Biological Imaging, Clinical Cooperation Unit Nuclear Medicine, German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany.

Copies of the article and images related to the study are available to media upon request to Kimberly A. Bennett. 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 $210 for individuals and $318 for institutions. A subscription is a Society of Nuclear Medicine member benefit.

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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