Professor Sobhani and colleagues from France assessed the potential benefits of including systematic 18fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET) for detecting tumor recurrence in a prospective randomized trial.
The team randomized 130 patients who had undergone curative therapy to either conventional or positron emission tomography procedures during follow-up.
The 2 groups were matched at baseline.
| Recurrences were detected after a shorter time with positron emission tomography|
|British Journal of Cancer|
Recurrence was confirmed histologically.
The researchers used intention-to-treat analysis, and revealed a recurrence in 46 patients.
The team noted that per protocol analysis revealed a recurrence in 44 out of 125 patients.
In another 3 cases, positron emission tomography revealed unexpected tumors, including 1 gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and 2 primary pulmonary cancers.
The researchers found that 3 false-positive cases of positron emission tomography led to no beneficial procedures.
The research team reported that they did not identify peritoneal carcinomatosis in two of the patients undergoing positron emission tomography.
The overall time in detecting a recurrence from the baseline was not significantly different in the 2 groups.
However, recurrences were detected after a shorter time in the positron emission tomography group.
Recurrences were more frequently cured by surgery.
Professor Sobhani's team comments, "Regular positron emission tomography monitoring in the follow up of colorectal cancer patients may permit the earlier detection of recurrence, and influence therapy strategies."