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Malignant brain tumors: Benefit of PET and PET/CT in the detection of recurrences is not assessable
Date:1/19/2011

This release is available in German.

Malignant gliomas are fast-growing brain tumours with poor prospects of recovery depending on disease stage. Experts hope that the examination of patients by means of positron emission tomography (PET) is more helpful in the choice of the right treatment than other procedures. In a final report the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has now investigated the benefit of PET in the detection of recurrences. According to this report, no robust conclusions are possible on the advantages or disadvantages of PET.

Two research questions investigated

The Institute investigated two research questions:

First question: Does PET as a single device or as a combination of PET and computer tomography (CT) in one device (PET/CT) contribute to patients with recurrence of glioma surviving longer or experiencing fewer complications caused by their disease or treatment? This question could not be answered by IQWiG, as no robust study was found in the literature allowing any conclusions on the patient-relevant (additional) benefit of this intervention.

The Institute also investigated a second question: Can recurrence of glioma after treatment be detected more accurately with PET or PET/CT than with other methods? Twelve studies on PET conducted over a period of two decades were identified; however, the results for this procedure differed so substantially between studies that no general answer could be provided. Not a single study on PET/CT was found.

This lack of good studies is regrettable. PET has been applied in studies investigating patients with brain tumours since the early eighties; there would have been enough time to conduct meaningful studies. IQWiG therefore advocates that these missing studies be conducted as quickly as possible. As gliomas are re
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Contact: Anna-Sabine Ernst
info@iqwig.de
49-022-135-6850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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