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

at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and former president of SNM. PET advances will continue to provide new dimensions in imaging cancer as the medical community integrates advances made in molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, engineering and computer sciences.

Nearly 1,200 participating facilities in the NOPR contributed PET scan data from nearly 23,000 patients involved in the study. Analysis of registry data reported that PET is associated with a 36.5 percent change in the treatment or no-treatment decision. In response to this positive data, NOPR has formally asked CMS to reconsider the current National Coverage decision on PET and to end the data collection requirements for diagnosis, staging and restaging. Medicare will review the data and issue their decision regarding reimbursement for PET scans covered only through the NOPR.

Because the findings are representative of Medicare patients for whom PET would be ordered if it were covered by CMS for the expanded indications, SNM joins with NOPR in calling for CMS to raise its restrictions on reimbursement.

NOPR afforded oncologists and nuclear medicine physicians a unique opportunity to make PET available to Medicare beneficiaries and to improve our understanding of the role of PET in oncology practice, said SNM member Barry Siegel, M.D., co-chair of the NOPR Working Group. Based on the results, Medicare should strongly consider opening up the coverage to include diagnosis, staging, and restaging for all cancers.


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Contact: Kathryn Wiley
kwiley@snm.org
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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