Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malignant brain tumors: Benefit of PET and PET/CT in the detection of recurrences is not assessable, study finds

Date:
January 19, 2011
Source:
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Summary:
Malignant gliomas are fast-growing brain tumors with poor prospects of recovery depending on disease stage. Experts hope that the examination of patients by means of positron emission tomography (PET) is more helpful in the choice of the right treatment than other procedures. Researchers have now investigated the benefit of PET in the detection of recurrences. According to their report, no robust conclusions are possible on the advantages or disadvantages of PET.

Malignant gliomas are fast-growing brain tumours with poor prospects of recovery depending on disease stage. Experts hope that the examination of patients by means of positron emission tomography (PET) is more helpful in the choice of the right treatment than other procedures. In a final report the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has now investigated the benefit of PET in the detection of recurrences. According to this report, no robust conclusions are possible on the advantages or disadvantages of PET.

The Institute investigated two research questions:

First question: Does PET as a single device or as a combination of PET and computer tomography (CT) in one device (PET/CT) contribute to patients with recurrence of glioma surviving longer or experiencing fewer complications caused by their disease or treatment? This question could not be answered by IQWiG, as no robust study was found in the literature allowing any conclusions on the patient-relevant (additional) benefit of this intervention.

The Institute also investigated a second question: Can recurrence of glioma after treatment be detected more accurately with PET or PET/CT than with other methods? Twelve studies on PET conducted over a period of two decades were identified; however, the results for this procedure differed so substantially between studies that no general answer could be provided. Not a single study on PET/CT was found.

This lack of good studies is regrettable. PET has been applied in studies investigating patients with brain tumours since the early eighties; there would have been enough time to conduct meaningful studies. IQWiG therefore advocates that these missing studies be conducted as quickly as possible. As gliomas are relatively rare, ideally several hospitals should cooperate on an international level in order to obtain robust data within a reasonable period of time.

How does PET work?

CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), also referred to as magnet resonance tomography (MRT), are procedures used to diagnose brain tumours. These devices can depict whole organs in a three-dimensional manner. If a patient with a brain tumour is treated with radiotherapy, it is often not possible to distinguish on images of the brain whether the visible residuals represent active cancer tissue or tissue residuals destroyed by radiation (radiation necroses).

PET is supposed to help solve this problem. For this purpose, patients are injected a contrast agent that emits weak and non-toxic radiation. As tumour tissue often has a more active metabolism than healthy or necrotic tissue, the radioactive contrast agent accumulates there. This "illuminating" tissue in the body can be measured by means of PET and blended into CT images, so that doctors can see the location and metabolic activity of any tissue abnormalities at the same time. In newer studies, PET and MRI are also combined.

Even if the PET examination provided more information, this would not necessarily mean that patients would benefit from it. The decisive question is whether PET or PET/CT improves the treatment of patients by, for example, helping doctors choose the best treatment for the individual patient.

Procedure of report production

IQWiG published the preliminary results in the form of the preliminary report in July 2010 and interested parties were invited to submit comments. When the comments stage ended, the preliminary report was revised and sent as a final report to the contracting agency, the Federal Joint Committee, in November 2010. The written comments are published in a separate document at the same time as the final report. The report was produced in collaboration with external experts.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. "Malignant brain tumors: Benefit of PET and PET/CT in the detection of recurrences is not assessable, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119120358.htm>.
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. (2011, January 19). Malignant brain tumors: Benefit of PET and PET/CT in the detection of recurrences is not assessable, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119120358.htm
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. "Malignant brain tumors: Benefit of PET and PET/CT in the detection of recurrences is not assessable, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119120358.htm (accessed July 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins