Can scans tell how aggressive is your tumor?
A new research, released from Cleveland shows how advanced imaging with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) can help patients with inoperable lung cancer determine the level of aggressiveness of the tumor and therefore predict the correct treatment for the each patient. This new discovery has the potential to shorten the time frame between diagnosing a patient with lung cancer and prescribing him/her an accurate and efficient treatment. The data was presented by the person who also led to this new discovery, Mitch Machtay, MD, of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center. This new finding was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in Miami Beach, Florida. In order to get the best results for this study the research was carried on in 60 cancer centers around the USA and included 251 patients.
It is a well known fact that lung cancer still holds the number one spot for cancer killers in the USA and this is why it is imperative that the research continues so we could to offer patients the best treatment possible in the shortest time. The research has proven that PET scans can become useful tools in prescribing treatments for patients and consequently improving their chances of recovering.
In this study, PET scans were taken from patients with stage III lung cancer before and after various types of treatments. The level of FDG (radioactive sugar molecule) was measured to observe how fast the tumors absorbed it. The results showed that patients with high recurrence rate had higher standard uptake value for FDG. Results also showed that there is a connection between the radiation intensity and local control of the caner. This was a strong signal that much research is yet to be done in radiation technology for lung cancer.
Dr. Machtay said that this was one of the largest studies of its kind and that they learned a lot from it. He also said that the research has great potential and perhaps the rate of deaths by lung cancer might get smaller in the near future.