New Study Says PET/CT is a Valuable Predictor of Survival in Mesothelioma, According to Surviving Mesothelioma

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The volume and metabolic activity of a mesothelioma tumor can do more than help in treatment planning according to a study conducted at an English hospital.

FDG PET/CT can be a powerful tool for helping doctors determine prognosis...

A new study conducted in London and reported by Surviving Mesothelioma suggests that the information provided by FDG PET/CT can be used to accurately predict a patient’s likelihood of survival.

In order to determine the relationship between metabolic activity and prognosis in mesothelioma, the English researchers examined the FDG PET/CT scans used for pretreatment staging of malignant pleural mesothelioma patients at their hospital between January 2005 and December 2011. FDG PET/CT is often used to diagnose and stage mesothelioma because it gives clinicians vital information about the size and volume of a tumor as well as its rate of metabolism, which is related to its ability to grow and spread.

The parameters examined in the study include standard uptake value (SUV), or how much of the tracer molecule was absorbed by the tumor, metabolic tumor volume (MTV) or the volume of the metabolically active portion of the tumor, and total lesion glycolysis (TLG), which is calculated by multiplying the mean SUV by the tumor volume.

Mesothelioma patients in the study were followed for a median of 12.7 months and had an overall survival of 14.1 months. The English researchers found that the histological subtype of the patient’s mesothelioma, TLG, and MTV had the greatest impact on overall survival. No significant differences were found in any of the PET parameters from one histological subtype to the next.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that FDG PET/CT can be a powerful tool for helping doctors determine prognosis in mesothelioma patients. They decided that measurements like MTV and TLG that take into account the functional volume of a mesothelioma tumor “show significant association with survival in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma… and are worthy of further evaluation to determine their ability to stratify patients in clinical trials”.

The original study appears in a recent issue of the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. (Klabatsa, A, et al, “The association of 18-F-FDG PET/CT parameters with survival in malignant pleural mesothelioma”, September 21, 2013, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Epub ahead of print,

For nearly ten years, Surviving Mesothelioma has brought readers the most important and ground-breaking news on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. All Surviving Mesothelioma news is gathered and reported directly from the peer-reviewed medical literature. Written for patients and their loved ones, Surviving Mesothelioma news helps families make more informed decisions.

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Michael Ellis
Cancer Monthy
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