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PET can help guide treatment decisions for a common pediatric cancer
Date:8/3/2009

g children. There are about 650 new cases of the cancer reported in the U.S. each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. The cancer most often originates on the adrenal glandsthe triangular-shaped glands above the kidneys. Neuroblastoma often spreads to other parts of the body before any symptoms are apparent.

Patients with the disease are classified as low-, medium- or high-risk based on a combination of clinical staging of the disease and certain biologic and genetic characteristics, such as the age of the patient, extent of disease spread, microscopic appearance and genetic factors.

Treatment for each of the risk categories is very different. If the cancer is limited to one part of the body, it is often curable with surgery, sometimes with the addition of chemotherapy. However, long-term survival for children older than 18 months of age with advanced disease is poor despite aggressive treatments that include a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, bone marrow transplant and investigational therapies.

In the study, a total of 113 paired MIBG scans and FDG PET scans in 60 patients with neuroblastoma at two major pediatric cancer institutions were reviewed. PET was used in conjunction with localization computerized tomography (CT) scans, and MIBG planar and SPECT imaging were combined. The study shows that for stage 1 and stage 2 neuroblastoma patients, FDG-PET depicted more primary or residual neuroblastoma, although MIBG imaging may be needed to exclude higher-stage disease that has spread to the bone or bone marrow. MIBG is superior in evaluating stage 4 neuroblastoma, primarily because it can detect and follow the response to treatment of tumor in the bone or bone marrow more accurately.


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

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