PET scans aid in diagnosis of non-small-cell lung cancer patients

December 27, 2000

PET scanning is much more accurate in determining how far lung cancer has spread than any other diagnostic technique, and should be the standard of care, according to an Australian research team.

In their study, the use of PET scans to double check a diagnosis made by traditional CT and bone scan tests resulted in altered treatment plans in 67 percent of 105 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.

Because PET is an imaging technique that looks at function instead of structure, it can detect cells that are actively growing, such as tumor tissue. In the study, PET scans revealed cancer in 27 patients that had spread farther than thought based on other conventional imaging modalities. This more accurate staging "spared a substantial number of patients the morbidity related to futile attempts at aggressive therapy," said study co-author, Rodney Hicks, MD, of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in East Melbourne.

But in 10 of 16 patients for whom only palliative therapy was planned because their cancer was diagnosed as too far advanced, PET imaging revealed that their cancer was treatable. PET thus "offered a chance of survival in a significant number of patients who would have been denied potentially curative therapy based on false-positive imaging studies," Hicks said.

Results of a PET scan also changed the extent of radiation treatment that 22 patients ultimately received, and 12 patients originally considered to have inoperable lung cancer underwent surgery as a result of their PET results.

Dr. Hicks said PET results which led to changes in treatment appeared to offer the correct diagnosis in all but one patient, and he believes the technique should routinely be added to CT as a diagnostic tool for staging lung cancer if therapy is being planned. While he said that many health care providers say PET scans are too expensive, Hicks maintains the cost is offset by improved selection of treatments for patients.
-end-
"Clinical Impact of 18F Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography in Patients with Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer: A Prospective Study;" R. Hicks, et al.; Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Australia. Vol. 19, No. 1, (January) 2001, pp. 111-118.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

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.

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.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com 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 Amazon.com.