Wednesday, November 18, 2009
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Imaging by combined positron emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) can accurately assess early treatment response to chemoradiotherapy of head and neck cancer, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.
James P. Malone, M.D., from the Southern Illinois School of Medicine in Springfield, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from combined PET-CT in 31 patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, taken six to eight weeks after chemoradiotherapy.
After a median follow-up of 24 months, the researchers found that assessment of tumor response by PET-CT at the primary site had a sensitivity of 83 percent, a specificity of 54 percent, a positive predictive value of 31 percent, and a negative predictive value of 92 percent. In patients who had node-positive disease before treatment, use of PET-CT had a specificity of more than 94 percent and a negative predictive value of 94 percent. In patients who were node negative before treatment, use of PET-CT had a specificity of 92 percent and a negative predictive value of more than 92 percent.
"Negative PET-CT findings accurately determine early disease response at the primary site and in the neck," Malone and colleagues conclude. "Patients with a negative PET-CT finding after the completion of intra-arterial chemoradiotherapy do not require surgical intervention."
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