Expanding Role of Positron Emission Tomography in Cancer of the Uterine Cervix

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  • 1 From the Departments of Radiology and Gynecology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Molecular imaging through positron emission tomography (PET) is playing a very important role in the management of several different cancers. Its noninvasive nature and ability to study biologic function are ideal for oncology practice. PET is establishing itself in staging, guiding therapy, and follow-up of patients with cervical cancer. The emergence and widespread availability of combined PET/computed tomography technology has further consolidated the role of molecular scanning in managing these patients. This technology is now accessible to every cancer center in the United States and is also available in most countries. Although it is approved for staging patients with cervical cancer, its use in other clinical management situations is being evaluated. The real power of molecular imaging will be to predict treatment response and guide therapy and applications of novel PET tracers for studying complex cellular functions that characterize the tumor for individualized treatment approaches. Although PET technology is beyond the reach of many developing countries, the experience gained in major centers would help devise more effective and simpler treatments that can be introduced.

Correspondence: Joseph G. Rajendran, MD, Division of Nuclear Medicine, Box 356113, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail: rajan@u.washington.edu
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