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PET confirmed as valuable cancer diagnostic and disease-staging tool
Date:3/26/2008

Reston, Va.The recent release of data by the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR) showing that positron emission tomography (PET) produced scans revealing disease at a molecular level, which then caused physicians to change treatment plans for more than one-third of participating patients, has corroborated decades of nuclear medicine research.

These data only confirm what SNM members have known for some time: molecular imaging is a powerful tool in diagnosing, treating, and monitoring disease and is capable of dramatically changing the course of patient care, said SNM President Alexander J. McEwan, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Alberta and director of oncologic imaging at Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Canada. SNM has been a large endorser of NOPR since its inception nearly two years ago. Many of our members have taken part in the study, and were gratified to see these results released.

The NOPR project marked one of the first times that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended procedure-specific coverage conditioned on collection of patient data into a registry. For PET indications currently not covered for payment, includingbut not limited tobrain, cervical, small cell lung, pancreatic, ovarian and testicular cancers, referring physicians completed short surveys prior to and following PET scans. These surveys were then submitted electronically to the NOPR database. With data analysis support from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network Biostatistics Center at Brown University, NOPR investigators assessed the effect of PET on referring physicians plans of intended patient management across a wide spectrum of cancer indications and reported their findings to CMS.

The launching of the registry was a milestone for cancer patients, said Peter S. Conti, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology, clinical pharmacy and biomedical engineering
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Contact: Kathryn Wiley
kwiley@snm.org
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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