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PET Helps Predict Primary Brain Cancer Survival

Posted on: 06/24/2002

PET Helps Predict Primary Brain Cancer Survival

Researchers from the Wallace-Kettering Neurosciences Institute reporting at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 49th annual meeting in Los Angeles stated that fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) imaging may be able to assess the prognosis for patients with brain cancer better than can traditional pathological grading.

MV Padma, MD, and colleagues reported on 331 patients with histologically proven gliomas who were imaged with FDG PET between 1990 and 2000. Nuclear medicine physicians examined the PET scans and labeled each according to the level of FDG uptake in the glioma and then compared these assessments with other information from follow-up and through histologic examination.

The researchers found that 94% of the primary gliomas patients who showed low FDG uptake on PET lived for over 1 year, and 19% of the low-uptake group survived for over 5 years. However, just 29% of the patients with high FDG uptake on PET lived for over 1 year, and none survived for more than 5 years.

This, concluded the researchers, confirmed PET's usefulness in reliably predicting survival in glioma patients. They noted that the technology offers patients and physicians new advantages in management planning and possible cost savings for ineffective therapies.
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