Bright cervical tumors, dim prospects

Armen Hareyan's picture
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It doesn't matter how small or large it is, if a cervical tumor glows brightly in a PET scan, it's apt to be more dangerous than dimmer tumors. That's the conclusion of a new study of cervical cancer patients at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

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"We've seen that among patients with the same stage of cervical cancer, there will be some patients who don't respond to treatment as well as others," says lead author Elizabeth A. Kidd, M.D., a Barnes-Jewish Hospital resident in Washington University's Department of Radiation Oncology. "Our study suggests that PET (positron emission tomography) can reliably identify patients who have a poorer prognosis."

Kidd and her colleagues, including researchers with the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, report their findings in an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer.

The researchers used FDG-PET, a widely available three-dimensional scanning technique. FDG-PET measures how rapidly tumors take up a radiolabeled glucose tracer (FDG)

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