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New diagnostic and therapeutic techniques show potential for patients with metastasized melanoma
Date:1/7/2014

Reston, Va. (January 7, 2014) With low survival rates for patients with metastasized melanoma, accurate staging and effective treatments are critical to extending life. New research published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine highlights the potential of newly developed radiopharmaceuticals with benzamide for the imaging of metastases and as a targeted systemic therapy.

Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in men and the sixth most common cancer in women, and its incidence rate is increasing rapidly. It accounts for nearly 80 percent of all deaths related to cutaneous cancer. When discovered early, localized melanoma can be cured by surgical removal. However, this cancer displays a strong tendency to metastasize and has very low survival rates for patients, with fewer than five percent surviving longer than five years.

In the study "123I-BZA2 as a Melanin-Targeted Radiotracer for the Identification of Melanoma Metastases: Results and Perspectives of a Multicenter Phase III Clinical Trial," researchers developed a specific single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) radiopharmaceutical for malignant melanoma123I-BZA2. Imaging of patients with metastasized melanoma was then performed with both 18F-FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and 123I-BZA2 SPECT to compare the accuracy in staging and restaging.

Eighty-seven patients were examined with a total of 86 metastatic lesions. In the analysis of lesions, the sensitivity for 18F-FDG for diagnosis of melanoma metastases was higher than that of 123I-BZA2 (80 percent vs. 23 percent). The specificity of 18F-FDG, however, was lower than 123I-BAZ2 (54 percent vs. 86 percent). The sensitivity and specificity of 123I-BAZ2 for the diagnosis of melanin-positive lesions were 75 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

"We have demonstrated that 123I-BZA2 tumor accumulation was clearly correlated to melanin content of the melanoma metastas
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Contact: Susan Martonik
smartonik@snmmi.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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