Molecular imaging could improve thyroid cancer detection and treatment
A series of studies published in the latest issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine
show that molecular imaging plays a critical role in the evaluation and treatment of a spectrum of cancers, including thyroid cancer, neuroendocrine tumors, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-small cell lung cancer, Health Imaging reports.
In the first study, Ravinder Grewal, an assistant attending physician in nuclear medicine at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues performed planar imaging and SPECT/CT on 148 patients with thyroid cancer.
The results showed that SPECT/CT provided information that reduced the need for additional cross-sectional imaging in 29 patients and changed the initial risk of recurrence estimates in seven of 109 postsurgical patients. This altered patient management recommendations in terms of frequency and intensity of follow-ups.
"For patients with thyroid cancer, 'one size fits all' no longer applies," Grewal wrote. "Through molecular imaging, the paradigm is changing toward more tailored and customized management of treatment. As a result, we can see how far a disease has spread and spare the patient from additional examination, time and radiation exposure."
These findings may assist physicians who treat patients with thyroid cancer, as molecular imaging could improve overall quality of life for many individuals.