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Esophageal Cancer Patients' Positive Responses to Chemotherapy Accurately Identified by PET

WASHINGTON, D.C. At the 54th Annual Meeting of SNM, the world's largest society for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine professionals, German researchers stated that early metabolic imaging with positron emission tomography (PET), accurately identifies patients responding to chemotherapy for esophageal cancer.

"This is the first study to apply PET results from early metabolic response assessment to clinical decision making in the treatment of common solid tumors," said Ken Herrmann, a resident in the department of nuclear medicine at Technical University in Munich, Germany.

"The outcome for metabolic responders turned out to be remarkably favorable compared to metabolic non-responders. Our results show that PET helps select patients who are benefiting from chemotherapy," he noted. "Based on our early response assessment, the course is set for tailoring multimodality treatment on the basis of tumor biology," explained Herrmann.

In addition, PET-response-guided treatment "helped circumvent the administration of inefficient chemotherapy to patients with no metabolic responsewithout compromising their outcome," added Herrmann.

Less well-known than lung cancerbut no less seriousesophageal cancer starts in the inner layer of the esophagus, the 10-inch long tube that connects your throat and stomach. Adenocarcinoma is esophageal cancer that begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids. In this country, more than 14,000 persons are expected to die from the disease, and more than 15,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year.

The MUNICON trial, conducted from May 2003 through August 2005, was the first study conducted to apply PET results from early metabolic response assessment to clinical decision-making in the treatment of common solid tumors, said Herrmann. "This clinical trial delineated how response-guided treatment algorithms may be applied to clinical practice, serving as a model
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