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New Scanner May Improve Cancer Care

Integrated PET/CT scanner more effective at 'staging' tumors

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MONDAY, June 21, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- In cancer diagnosis and treatment, pinpointing the stage to which a tumor has progressed is critical. Now, scientists in Germany say a new integrated PET/CT scanner is more effective at staging tumors than either PET (positron emission tomography) or CT (computed tomography) alone.

"We are ecstatic with the results. Obviously, when dealing with all types of cancers, the sooner we can get to the treatment, the better. The new tumor imaging method using the integrated PET/CT will now allow doctors and patients to get an earlier jump on the disease," researcher Dr. Gerald Antoch said in a prepared statement.

The findings are being presented this week at the annual meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine, in Philadelphia.

The study included 260 people with different forms of cancer. Tumor staging was performed using either whole-body imaging with CT alone, PET alone, CT and PET viewed side by side, or the new integrated PET/CT.

According to the study, 84 percent of tumors were correctly staged using the integrated PET/CT, compared to 76 percent with PET/CT side-by-side analysis, 64 percent with PET alone, and 63 percent with CT alone.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about early cancer detection.

SOURCE: Society of Nuclear Medicine news release, June 20, 2004


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