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PET/CT scan could be valuable noninvasive tool for determining stages of ovarian cancer
Date:6/16/2008

NEW ORLEANS, La.Combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) scanning of patients in the early stages of ovarian cancer can enable physicians to determine whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes without having to perform surgery, according to researchers at the SNM's 55th Annual Meeting. As a result, unnecessary surgeries could be reduced, which would also lower morbidity rates and postoperative complications for ovarian cancer patients.

"Our preliminary research indicates that using PET/CT scanning in this way could greatly improve quality of life for many patients with ovarian cancer," said Luca Guerra, doctor of nuclear medicine, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy, and lead researcher of the study, 18F-FDG PET/CT Usefulness in Initial Staging of Ovarian Cancer. "PET/CT scans could allow many women to forego major abdominal surgery to determine whether their cancer has spread. It's a much safer alternative for determining the stages of ovarian cancer."

More than 20,000 U.S. women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year, according to recent estimates, and more than 15,000 women will die from it. Unlike many other types of cancer, there is currently no reliable screening test to determine whether a woman has ovarian cancer. Physicians usually perform surgery to diagnose and stage ovarian cancer. Although CT and MRI technologies are useful in determining surgery in advanced cases of the disease, both have limited accuracy in determining stages of ovarian cancer.

While systematic lymphadenectomysurgically removing all of the lymph nodes for testing rather than sampling a small number of the lymph nodesis more accurate in determining whether the cancer has spread, the surgery takes longer, often requires blood transfusions and can result in life-threatening complications. If all early-stage ovarian cancer patients underwent lymphadenectomy, approximately 75 percent of the surgeries would p
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Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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