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PET/CT imaging proves golden for detecting cancer in children
Date:12/12/2007

RESTON, Va.PET/CT imaging exhibits significantly higher sensitivity, specificity and accuracy than conventional imaging when it comes to detecting malignant tumors in children, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. And thats not all: PET/CT imaging provides doctors with additional information about cancer in children, possibly sparing young patients from being overtreated.

PET/CT is useful in finding small tumors in small children and is a promising imaging tool in evaluating pediatric malignancies, said Richard L. Wahl, the Henry N. Wagner, Jr., M.D., Professor in Nuclear Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Md. In our study, we found that PET/CT can detect small lymph node lesions diagnosed as negative with conventional (or anatomical) imaging and deny the presence of active disease in soft-tissue masses post-treatmentespecially in children with a wide range of malignant cancers, explained the Hopkins professor of radiology and oncology. Using PET/CT could help spare children from overtreatment while fighting their disease, he added.

There are few findings about the use of PET/CT imaging in comparison with conventional imaging with pediatric patients, said Wahl, explaining that investigators retrospectively reviewed cases to evaluate the efficacy of PET/CT when compared with other imaging methods. Researchers reviewed 151 FDG PET/CT exams that were performed on 55 children with noncentral nervous system malignancies (30 patients had lymphomacancer that affects the bodys lymph nodes and other organs that are part of the bodys immune and blood-forming systems).

PET (positron emission tomography) with CT (computed tomography) imagingwith the radiotracer fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)enables the collection of both biological and anatomical information during a single exam, with PET picking up metabolic signals of body cells and tissues and CT offering a detailed map o
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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