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Molecular imaging enables earlier, individualized treatment of thyroid cancer
Date:1/2/2009

received radioiodine therapy. Afterwards, a SPECT-CT camera was rotated around the patients at a variety of angles to capture where the radioactivity was occurring. SPECT imaging can locate cells in the body that are not behaving normally, but does not provide the detailed, X-ray-like images that CT imaging can. The hybrid camera, however, is able to reveal both the malignant cell activity and the exact anatomical location.

"With SPECT-CT imaging, we were able to determine tumor spread much earlier than before," said Daniela Schmidt, MD, another co-author of the article. "Earlier detection will lead to earlier individualized treatment of this potentially deadly cancer."

The researchers also reported that this information led to a revision of the original diagnosis in 35 percent of the study participants. The images reclassified as benign six of 11 lesions that had been considered lymph node metastases and 11 of 15 lesions considered to be indeterminate.

"Our data suggest that SPECT-CT should be used as a routine procedure in DTC patients at the first radioiodine treatment," said Kuwert. "By upstaging or downstaging disease, this hybrid imaging tool may alter the management of more than one-third of patients with the disease."

According to the American Cancer Society, DTC is the most common form of thyroid cancer and one of the success stories in the war on cancer. Since the advent of radioiodine therapy, it has been considered one of the more curable cancers. In 2009, about 37,340 new cases of thyroid cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. Of the new cases, about 28,410 will occur in women, and 8,930 in men.


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Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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