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Scans Help Spot Recurrent Cancers

Combination imaging helps find hidden malignancies, study says

MONDAY, Dec. 20, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A combination of positron emission tomography and computerized tomography (PET/CT) imaging can help diagnose hidden recurrent cancer, says an Israeli study in the December issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

This approach involves sequential PET and CT imaging on the same device, which provides doctors with simultaneous functional (PET) and anatomical (CT) data about patients.

"PET/CT was found to indicate the presence of new malignancy and also precisely localize and define the extent of disease," in 36 patients suspected of having recurrent cancer, study author Dr. Ora Israel, of the department of nuclear medicine at Rambam Medical Center, said in a prepared statement.

She said that PET/CT was the only test that showed whether recurrent tumors were indeed present. And since PET/CT provides anatomical information, it helped doctors determine the best course of treatment.

"This is clinically important, since no treatment could be planned in these patients without the benefit of this combined test," Israel said.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about cancer imaging.

SOURCE: Society of Nuclear Medicine, news release, Dec. 13, 2004
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