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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

latively rare, ideally several hospitals should cooperate on an international level in order to obtain robust data within a reasonable period of time.

How does PET work?

CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), also referred to as magnet resonance tomography (MRT), are procedures used to diagnose brain tumours. These devices can depict whole organs in a three-dimensional manner. If a patient with a brain tumour is treated with radiotherapy, it is often not possible to distinguish on images of the brain whether the visible residuals represent active cancer tissue or tissue residuals destroyed by radiation (radiation necroses).

PET is supposed to help solve this problem. For this purpose, patients are injected a contrast agent that emits weak and non-toxic radiation. As tumour tissue often has a more active metabolism than healthy or necrotic tissue, the radioactive contrast agent accumulates there. This "illuminating" tissue in the body can be measured by means of PET and blended into CT images, so that doctors can see the location and metabolic activity of any tissue abnormalities at the same time. In newer studies, PET and MRI are also combined.

Even if the PET examination provided more information, this would not necessarily mean that patients would benefit from it. The decisive question is whether PET or PET/CT improves the treatment of patients by, for example, helping doctors choose the best treatment for the individual patient.


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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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