Mesothelioma Tumor Detection Improves With PET Scanners During Surgery

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that has historically been difficult to detect and diagnose. However, researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have recently found that handheld positron emission tomography (PET) scans can detect smaller tumors during surgery at a better rate than traditional PET scans. During a study involving mice inoculated with malignant […]

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that has historically been difficult to detect and diagnose. However, researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have recently found that handheld positron emission tomography (PET) scans can detect smaller tumors during surgery at a better rate than traditional PET scans.

During a study involving mice inoculated with malignant mesothelioma, the handheld PET scans reliably detected lesions that were thought to be mesothelioma. Such a finding may help surgeons better resect primary and metastatic tumors.

PET scans make use of the metabolic processes of cells to create highly detailed images of the internal body. Prior to a PET scan, the individual undergoing the test is injected intravenously with a solution of radioactive glucose. During the test, their body is scanned using equipment that can detect the presence of the radioactive glucose.

Researchers who were part of the study said, “This novel tool could be used synergistically with a PET scan imaging to maximize tissue selection intraoperatively.” The accuracy and visibility that the handheld PET scan provides may in turn prolong a patient’s overall survival and prognosis.

Current treatment options for mesothelioma are palliative and no definitive cure exists. Often due to late detection, the average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients ranges between four and 18 months following diagnosis.

 

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