Combining CT, FDG-PET provides more accurate treatments for head and neck cancer patients

Combining computerized tomography (CT) with fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) images results in significantly more defined tumor outlines and potentially different treatment options in head and neck cancer patients compared to using CT alone, according to research presented today, at the Cancer Imaging and Radiation Therapy Symposium in Atlanta. This symposium is co-sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

CT is the standard method for determining tumor delineation before deciding head and treatment—typically intensity modulated . However, FDG-PET is an imaging method that uses a radioactive product combined with sugar and can produce better defined outlines of the tumor.

Researchers sought to determine the significance of combining CT and FDG-PET when determining tumor delineation and treatment for head and neck cancer patients.

In this trial, 327 patients were treated with IMRT for head and neck cancer. Based on the combined approach of the CT-scan and FDG-PET, the researchers noticed a change in the delineation of the tumor in one out of three patients, resulting in 10 percent of patients' treatment being changed and 33 percent of patients having their treatment adjusted.

In 17 percent of the patients, the primary tumor was not visible on the CT-scan alone, mostly due to dental inlays.

"We expected there to be an improved delineation of the ," Homan Dehnad, MD, a study author and radiation oncologist at Utrecht University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands, said. "However, we never expected it to have such an influence on the treatment options for patients. Each dedicated institute dealing with head and neck cancer should be equipped with multi-imaged facilities."

More information: The abstract, "Significance of the Use of FDG-PET Combined with CT for Tumour Delineation in Primary Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer," will be presented at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 29, 2011.

Provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

US OKs first-ever DNA alternative to Pap smear (Update 2)

9 hours ago

U.S. government health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as a first-choice screening option for cervical cancer. It was a role previously reserved for the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of women's health.

New breast cancer imaging method promising

15 hours ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

15 hours ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

User comments