Molecular Imaging Insider

Dear Molecular Imaging Insider,

PET/MRI has shown great promise for a multitude of clinical applications, but its performance for head and neck cancer appears to be rather underwhelming.

German researchers found that the hybrid modality's performance did not surpass that of PET/CT, primarily due to PET/MRI's inability to better differentiate the disease from incidental tracer uptake, which can be a bugaboo for both modalities.

A first look at the research is available in this Insider Exclusive.

In other news, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, are optimistic that carbon-11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B with PET could become a sensitive marker for intracranial meningioma and foster appropriate patient triage and treatment, obviating the need for invasive testing.

While PET/MRI may not be the optimum choice for head and neck cancer, adding a scan of the entire head to a routine whole-body PET/MRI protocol could reveal a significant number of incidental findings in the brain in asymptomatic cancer patients. A recent study found that MRI provides better resolution of brain tissue, and with metabolic information obtained from PET, the modality offers better characterization of both normal and abnormal brain findings in patients.

With high specificity and negative predictive value, FDG-PET/CT can accurately detect distant metastases in women with cervical or endometrial cancer and spare them from unnecessary aggressive therapy, according to a study presented at RSNA 2016. FDG-PET/CT also achieved a false-positive rate of less than 5%, prompting researchers to recommend that the hybrid modality be included as part of pretreatment evaluation for this patient population.

Finally, German researchers have developed a low-cost 3D printing technology that can be used to create patient-specific organ models of varying sizes and shapes. The process for clinical prototyping has produced a 3D kidney phantom for quantitative SPECT/CT imaging to help optimize radiation dose for radionuclide therapies for each individual patient.

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