Komar said he was somewhat surprised by the results of the study since they did not expect to see such a clear correlation in such a small sample size.
"The important new step in the future might be the integration of these findings in management of a single tumor and combination of this information with the appropriate therapeutic approach including early monitoring of tumor responsiveness," Komar said.
David Mankoff, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology, medicine and bioengineering at the University of Washington and an academic physician at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, said this is the latest finding in a series of studies that have shown that a blood-flow metabolism mismatch in tumor is a sign of a resistant tumor and a predictor of bad outcome.
"This study confirms that blood flow metabolism mismatch exists in pancreatic tumors, similar to other cancers such as breast and lung cancers, and predicts poor patient outcome," said Mankoff. "A blood-flow metabolism mismatch by PET appears to be associated with cancer aggressiveness and treatment resistance. We've only recently recognized this pattern as a result of advantages in functional imaging methods."
Mankoff, who is also an editorial board member for the AACR's journal Clinical Cancer Research, said he believes this study has a few implications. As researchers begin to use new methods, such as PET imaging to explore in vivo biology, they may uncover factors that point towards behavior that is more aggressive and suggests new avenues for treatment, therefore leading to better patient outcome. For example, Mankoff said that the findings identified by Komar and colleagues may lead researchers to study the role that tumor tissue oxygenation and hypoxia play in mediating tumor clinical behavior and responsiveness to systemic therapy.
|Contact: Tara Yates|
American Association for Cancer Research