Diagnostic Accuracy May Not Be Improved By PET Imaging In Early Head And Neck Cancer

Positron emission tomography with a radioactive tracer (18F-FDG PET) may not improve the detection of small metastases in patients with head and neck cancer who have no clinical evidence of disease in neighboring lymph nodes, according to a meta-analysis published online May 13 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

A key prognostic factor for head and neck squamous cell cancer patients is whether their disease has spread to the nearby lymph nodes. Unfortunately, some patients who appear clinically to be free of such metastases, referred to as cN0, actually have small metastases. Clinicians use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), commuted tomography (CT), and FDG-PET to try to detect these lesions, but strong data supporting the use of FDG-PET are lacking.

source: Medical News Today

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