PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say a rapid decline in metabolic activity on a PET scan after radiation for non-small cell lung cancer suggests good local tumor control.
PET scanning, or Positron Emission Tomography, is an imaging technique that produces a 3-D image of the body's functional processes, according to Wikipedia. It can also provide an image of tissue metabolic activity.
In addition, the researchers said they also found the higher the metabolic activity and tumor size on a PET scan before treatment, the more likely a patient is to die from lung cancer.
"PET scanning is an emerging tool of molecular imaging in lung cancer, in contrast to CT scans and MRI scans which are anatomic imaging," said Thomas Jefferson University Associate Professor Maria Werner-Wasik, the study's lead author. "It has become an important tool in the evaluation of lung cancer staging and evaluation of treatment response."
Werner-Wasik and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 50 patients with lung cancer who received PET imaging before and after radiation therapy, focusing on the prognostic factors for tumor local failure.
Their detailed findings were presented last week in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.