Currently, conventional imaging techniques are used to detect recurrence of colorectal cancer after surgery. These methods, however, are inaccurate.
A team of Italian doctors evaluated the use of positron emission tomography (PET) in the early detection of colorectal cancer recurrence in patients who had undergone curative resection.
31 patients who were disease-free after surgery for colorectal cancer underwent PET. Accuracy of PET in the detection of cancer recurrence was verified by clinical, surgical and radiological follow up as well as biopsy.
PET detected 6 sites of increased activity in 5 patients.
3 of the 6 underwent surgery. 1 was false positive with no evident tumour and 2 underwent a hepatic resection with removal of a homental metastasis.
| PET should be considered in the follow-up of patients after treatment for colorectal cancer in addition to other imaging methods |
The sensitivity of PET for the detection of cancer recurrence was 100% and the specificity was 83.3%.
PET led to the alteration of clinical management was altered in 2 out of 31 cases (6.4%).
The research team conclude. “PET is more accurate than conventional imaging for the evaluation of recurrence in colorectal cancer patients”