Monitoring cancer treatment with PET/CT: does it make a difference?

Wolfgang A Weber, Robert Figlin
Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2007, 48: 36S-44S
PET with the glucose analog 18F-FDG is increasingly being used to monitor the effectiveness of therapy in patients with malignant lymphomas and a variety of solid tumors. The use of integrated PET/CT instead of stand-alone PET for treatment monitoring poses some methodologic challenges for the quantitative analysis of PET scans but also provides the opportunity to integrate morphologic information and functional information. This integration may allow the definition of new parameters for assessment of the tumor response and will also facilitate the use of PET in research studies as well as in clinical practice. This review addresses how CT-based attenuation correction may affect the quantitative analysis of 18F-FDG PET scans and summarizes the results of recent studies with PET/CT for treatment monitoring for lung cancer and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The review concludes with an outlook on how PET/CT could make a difference in drug development and clinical management for patients.

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