FDG-PET/CT Utilized in Anal Cancer Study

As reported by the site AuntMinne, the Journal of Nuclear Medicine recently published a study which highlighted the role of FDG-PET/CT in anal cancer follow-ups. The radiologists in the study were able to predict two-year progression-free survival for patients by utilizing the FDG uptake and studying the response to chemoradiotherapy.

Let’s take a look at some of the findings.


Researchers who conducted the study are touting FDG-PET/CT’s high sensitivity and negative predictive value, and see great potential for it to assess response to treatment and redirect therapy for those suffering from anal cancer, whether it be recurrent or progressive. For the cancer patients in the study who saw recurrence, the researchers directed them to surgical options.

The researchers believed FDG-PET/CT may ultimately become an “important asset for post-treatment follow-up of anal cancer,” as they found the practice to have high accuracy in post-treatment evaluation and an overall advantageous influence on the care of a patient.

Details of the Study

The study featured 87 anal cancer patients aged 35-89 years old, with a median age of 62, and of these patients 19 were men while 68 were women.

The patients in the study had tumors ranging from T1 up to T4, with 49% of patients having either a T1 or T2 tumor and 51% having a T3 or T4 tumor. These patients were given pretreatment staging, which included physical exams, CT, pelvic MRIs, along with additional procedures.

The range for follow-ups for these patients was 8-76.9 months, with 25 months being the median. 71% of patients showed no evidence of recurrence following the completion of the follow-up.

The results of the FDG-PET/CT showed that 63% of the patients within the study had a total metabolic response to treatment, featuring no abnormal FDG uptake, while 27% had abnormal uptake and were deemed to have had an incomplete response to the treatment. Patients with a complete metabolic response saw a two-year progression-free survival rate of 96%, while those with a poor metabolic response had a 28% rate.

These findings regarding FDG-PET/CT’s capabilities are worthwhile, since, as AuntMinnie reports, anal cancer cases have been increasing within developed countries and for men in the gay community over the course of recent decades. Transplant recipients and AIDS patients make up a portion of this increase.

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To find out more about this study, visit AuntMinnie’s article linked above, and to keep tabs on developments within the teleradiology field, be sure to follow the Specialty Teleradiology blog.

Lisa Drazil

About The Author

Lisa Drazil - VP / Administator

Lisa Drazil is Administrative Director for Specialty Teleradiology. Her medical career began as a Nuclear Medicine/PET technologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Lisa then went on to develop, staff, and manage various imaging centers across the country. Her medical background combined with her health administration experience provide a valuable insight into the needs of the diagnostic imaging practices that Specialty Teleradiology serves.