PET/CT and Occult Primary Tumors

Author: Donald A. Podoloff MD1
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  • 1 Division of Diagnostic Imaging, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

Within the past 5 years, F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT has become one of the more frequent imaging modalities in the management of patients with cancer of unknown primary origin. FDG PET/CT detects more sites of metastasis than other modalities, and in 20% to 40% of cases it discloses the site of the primary tumor. Its exact role is yet to be defined because of a lack of prospective clinical trials comparing the performance of PET/CT with conventional anatomic imaging modalities. This article reviews the available literature, attempts to place PET/CT using F-18–labeled FDG in clinical perspective and compares the combined modality with conventional anatomic imaging technologies.

Dr. Podoloff is a consultant, serves on the advisory board for PET/CT, and is a member of Academic Council for GE Healthcare.

Correspondence: Donald A. Podoloff, MD, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Division of Diagnostic Imaging, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Unit 0057, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: dpodoloff@di.mdacc.tmc.edu
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