Combining PET, CT Scans Can Improve Ovarian Cancer Care

THURSDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Combining positron emission tomography (PET) and CT scans can help doctors detect more sites of disease in women with recurrent ovarian cancer, identify those patients whose cancer is likely to progress, and influence doctors' management of most patients.

That's the finding from an Australian study of 90 women.

"PET/CT -- using fluorodeoxyglucose or FDG -- detected many more sites of disease than were found with routine imaging both within and outside the abdomen," Michael J. Fulham, professor and clinical director of medical imaging at Sydney South West Area Health Service and head of the department of PET and nuclear medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney, said in a prepared statement.

"PET/CT influenced treatment decisions in 59 percent of the 90 women and identified those whose disease was more likely to progress within 12 months," he noted.

"Our findings also suggest that there is an opportunity for technology replacement -- replacing routine CT of the abdomen and pelvis -- with PET/CT with the radiotracer FDG, thus reducing costs and providing better answers for patients and referring doctors."

The study was to be presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., June 2-6.

"The next step in this research will be to attempt to identify those patients with residual disease after initial diagnosis and treatment has been completed -- with the hope of positive outcomes for more patients by identifying those with residual active disease much earlier on," Fulham said.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Society of Nuclear Medicine, news release, June 4, 2007

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