[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim: The aim of this paper was to systematically review published data about the comparison of radiolabelled metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy and positron emission tomography (PET) with different radiopharmaceuticals in patients with pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (Pheo/PGL). Methods: A comprehensive literature search of studies published in PubMed/MEDLINE and Embase databases through September 2012 and regarding MIBG scintigraphy and PET imaging with different radiopharmaceuticals in patients with Pheo/PGL was carried out. Results: Twenty-eight studies comprising 852 patients who underwent both MIBG scintigraphy and PET or PET/CT with different radiopharmaceuticals were included and discussed. Three studies evaluated carbon-11-hydroxyephedrine ([11C]HED) as PET radiopharmaceutical, nine studies fluorine-18-dopamine ([18F]DA), eight studies fluorine-18-dihydroxyphenylalanine ([18F]DOPA), twelve studies fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) and five studies gallium-68-somatostatin analogues. Conclusions: Despite the heterogeneity of the studies included in the analysis, it can be concluded that the diagnostic performance of PET with various agents is clearly superior to that of MIBG scintigraphy in patients with Pheo/PGL, mainly for familial, extra-adrenal and metastatic diseases; however, MIBG maintains a unique role in selecting patients suitable for 131I-MBG therapy. Further larger prospective studies comparing MIBG and different PET tracers in patients with Pheo/PGL as well as a cost-effectiveness analysis of the two techniques are needed.
The quarterly journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging: official publication of the Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine (AIMN) [and] the International Association of Radiopharmacology (IAR), [and] Section of the Society of... 06/2013; 57(2):122-133. · 1.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 33-year old man underwent an F-FDG PET/CT searching for the cause of a fever of unknown origin. F-FDG PET/CT incidentally detected a focal area of markedly increased radiopharmaceutical uptake corresponding to a 2.5-cm nodule in the right adrenal gland. Laboratory data ruled out the presence of a functioning adrenal lesion. All these findings were suggestive of adrenal malignancy. After right adrenalectomy, histology showed a benign solitary fibrous tumor of the adrenal gland. This case highlights that benign solitary fibrous tumor should be considered as possible false-positive F-FDG PET/CT finding for malignancy in evaluating adrenal incidentalomas.
Clinical nuclear medicine 05/2013; · 3.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In 2007, sorafenib was the first drug able to improve overall survival in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. AIM: In 2005 we designed a phase II study to assess safety and efficacy of sunitinib. METHODS: This is a single arm, open-label, single-centre phase II trial. Eligibility criteria were advanced hepatocellular carcinoma; no prior chemotherapy, performance status 0-1; and Child≤B8. The treatment schedule was 50mg each day orally, 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off. RESULTS: Between 10/2007 and 10/2010, 34 patients were enrolled. A significant worsening of liver functional reserve after sunitinib was observed. Grade 3/4 adverse effects occurred in 80% of patients and included fatigue (47%), nausea (15%), liver failure (15%), encephalopathy (12%) and upper gastrointestinal bleeding (12%). Six patients (18%) died within 60 days of enrolment. A partial response was observed in 4 patients (12%). Median time to tumour progression was 2.8 months and median overall survival was 5.8 months. CONCLUSION: A dose of 50mg/d induces a high rate of severe adverse events. Toxicity remains a key concern also at the dose of 37.5mg/d. However, sunitinib is able to induce a prolonged response in some patients. Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography scans may select good responders.
Digestive and Liver Disease 02/2013; · 3.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of PET-CT imaging in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma during pre-treatment staging, radiotherapy planning, treatment response assessment and post-therapy follow-up is reviewed with focus on current evidence, controversial issues and future clinical applications. In staging, the role of (18)F-FDG PET-CT is well recognized for detecting cervical nodal involvement as well as for exclusion of distant metastases and synchronous primary tumours. In the evaluation of treatment response, the high negative predictive value of (18)F-FDG PET-CT performed at least 8 weeks from the end of radio-chemotherapy allows prevention of unnecessary diagnostic invasive procedures and neck dissection in many patients, with a significant impact on clinical outcome. On the other hand, in this setting, the low positive predictive value due to possible post-radiation inflammation findings requires special care before making a clinical decision. Controversial data are currently available on the role of PET imaging during the course of radio-chemotherapy. The prognostic role of (18)F-FDG PET-CT imaging in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is recently emerging, in addition to the utility of this technique in evaluation of the tumour volume for planning radiation therapy. Additionally, new PET radiopharmaceuticals could provide considerable information on specific tumour characteristics, thus overcoming the limitations of (18)F-FDG.
Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica: organo ufficiale della Società italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale 02/2013; 33(1):1-8. · 0.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The assessment of hepatobiliary and pancreatic tumors is commonly achieved by ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance. The 2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D: -glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) detects increased glucose metabolism associated with neoplastic lesions, provides high accuracy in most cancer imaging applications and is now widely used in clinical practice. However, PET is not always useful and accurate knowledge of appropriate indications is essential for a proper clinical management. (18)F-FDG is transported into cells and phosphorylated by the enzyme hexokinase to (18)F-FDG-6-phosphate, which cannot proceed down the glycolytic pathway and therefore is accumulated in the malignant tissue. PET allows accurate quantification of FDG uptake in tissue, and previous studies have demonstrated that standardized uptake values provide highly reproducible parameters of tumor glucose use (Weber et al., J Nucl Med 40:1771-1777, 1999). The recent development and diffusion of hybrid PET-CT scanners allows functional and anatomic data to be obtained in a single examination, improving lesion localization and resulting in significant diagnostic improvement (Wahl, J Nucl Med 45:82S-95S, 2004). Moreover, CT can be performed diagnostically with the use of intravenous and oral contrast and simultaneous PET-contrast-enhanced CT scanning appears to be an efficient method in cancer evaluation. However, in most centers, a low-dose CT is routinely performed without contrast media infusion.Proper patient preparation, scanning protocol, combined assessment of PET and CT data, and the evaluation of conventional imaging findings are essential to define disease and to avoid diagnostic pitfalls. The role of PET and PET-CT in malignancies of the liver, biliary tract, and pancreas is here reviewed; normal patterns, representative cases, and common pitfalls are also presented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 64-year-old man was referred to our center for metabolic characterization of 2 bilateral pulmonary lesions, incidentally detected at computed tomography (CT). F-FDG PET/CT scan showed a weak radiopharmaceutical uptake in both pulmonary lesions. A subsequent Ga-DOTANOC PET/CT showed intense radiopharmaceutical uptake in both pulmonary lesions. Subsequently, the patient underwent histopathological examinations of both lesions, which showed a synchronous well-differentiated pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinoma (typical carcinoid tumor). This case reports a rare occurrence of synchronous pulmonary carcinoid, highlighting the role of different PET tracers for metabolic characterization of pulmonary nodules.
Clinical nuclear medicine 04/2012; 37(4):e91-4. · 3.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the prognostic value of "early" and "late" Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with radio-chemotherapy (RTCT).
Twenty-six patients treated with RTCT for HNSCC were included. All patients underwent (18)F-FDG PET-CT at baseline ("staging" PET-CT), after 2 weeks of treatment ("early" PET-CT) and 8-12 weeks after treatment ("late" PET-CT). Changes in FDG uptake in the primary tumor (T) and lymph nodes (N) were correlated with local and regional control, respectively; overall metabolic response was correlated with relapse free survival (RFS) and disease specific survival (DSS).
After a median follow-up of 29.2 months, 19/26 patients were living and 17/19 had no evidence of disease. When comparing "staging", "early" and "late" PET results, a significant decrease of FDG SUV(max) in T and N was documented. When correlating changes in FDG uptake in T and N with local and regional control, a statistically significant correlation only with the "late" reduction was found. Statistical analysis failed to demonstrate any correlation between the "early" metabolic response and the patient clinical outcome while the "late" metabolic response revealed a strong correlation with RFS (p = 0.01) and DSS (p = 0.009).
In patients with HNSCC, PET-CT performed after RTCT predicts the clinical outcome, since it strongly correlates with RFS and DSS. On the other hand, the predictive role of "early" metabolic response was not confirmed by this study.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 03/2012; 103(1):63-8. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endocrine pancreatic tumors (EPTs) are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with variable clinical and biological features and prognosis, ranging from very slow-growing tumors to highly aggressive and very malignant ones. As other neuroendocrine tumors, EPTs are characterized by the presence of neuroamine uptake mechanisms and/or peptide receptors at the cell membrane and these features constitute the basis of the clinical use of specific radiolabeled ligands, both for imaging and therapy. The more widespread use of hybrid machines, i.e., positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT), allows to perform imaging with high resolution and high diagnostic accuracy especially for small lesions, and to correlate anatomic location with function. The recent WHO recommendations for classification and prognostic factors help the selection of tracers likely to show a positive image on PET; therefore, tracers exploiting specific metabolic patterns ((18)F-DOPA and (11)C-5-HTP) or specific receptor expression ((68)Ga-DOTA-peptides) are suited to well-differentiated tumors, while the use of (18)F-FDG is preferred for poorly-differentiated neoplasms with high proliferative activity and loss of neuroendocrine features. In differentiated EPTs, (11)C-5-HTP performs better than (18)F-DOPA even though its use is hampered by its complex production and limited availability and experience; (68)Ga-peptides are indicated for all type of gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors, regardless of their functional activity. In addition, (68)Ga-DOTA-peptides play a distinctive role in planning peptide receptor radionuclide therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to systematically review and conduct a meta-analysis of published data about the diagnostic performance of (18)F-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with paraganglioma (PG).
A comprehensive computer literature search of studies published through 30 June 2011 regarding (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/computed tomography (PET/CT) in patients with PG was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase and Scopus databases. Pooled sensitivity and specificity of (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT in patients with PG on a per patient- and on a per lesion-based analysis were calculated. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated to measure the accuracy of (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT in patients with PG. Furthermore, a sub-analysis taking into account the different genetic mutations in PG patients was also performed.
Eleven studies comprising 275 patients with suspected PG were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity of (18)F-DOPA PET and PET/CT in detecting PG was 91% [95% confidence interval (CI) 87-94%] on a per patient-based analysis and 79% (95% CI 76-81%) on a per lesion-based analysis. The pooled specificity of (18)F-DOPA PET and PET/CT in detecting PG was 95% (95% CI 86-99%) on a per patient-based analysis and 95% (95% CI 84-99%) on a per lesion-based analysis. The area under the ROC curve was 0.95 on a per patient- and 0.94 on a per lesion-based analysis. Heterogeneity between the studies about sensitivity of (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT was found. A significant increase in sensitivity of (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT was observed when a sub-analysis excluding patients with succinate dehydrogenase subunit B (SDHB) gene mutations was performed.
In patients with suspected PG (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity. (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT are accurate methods in this setting. Nevertheless, possible sources of false-negative results should be kept in mind. Furthermore, SDHB gene mutations could influence (18)F-DOPA PET or PET/CT diagnostic performance.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 02/2012; 39(7):1144-53. · 4.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gallium-68 somatostatin receptor (SMSR) positron emission tomography (PET) and positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) are valuable diagnostic tools for patients with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). To date, a meta-analysis about the diagnostic accuracy of these imaging methods is lacking. Aim of our study is to meta-analyse published data about the diagnostic performance of SMSR PET or PET/CT in patients with thoracic and/or gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) NETs. A comprehensive computer literature search of studies published in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus and Embase databases through October 2011 and regarding SMSR PET or PET/CT in patients with NETs was carried out. Only studies in which SMSR PET or PET/CT were performed in patients with thoracic and/or GEP NETs were selected (medullary thyroid tumours and neural crest derived tumours were excluded from the analysis). Pooled sensitivity, pooled specificity and area under the ROC curve were calculated to measure the diagnostic accuracy of SMSR PET and PET/CT in NETs. Results: Sixteen studies comprising 567 patients were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of SMSR PET or PET/CT in detecting NETs were 93% (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 91-95%) and 91% (95% CI: 82-97%), respectively, on a per patient-based analysis. The area under the ROC curve was 0.96. In patients with suspicious thoracic and/or GEP NETs, SMSR PET and PET/CT demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity. These accurate techniques should be considered as first-line diagnostic imaging methods in patients with suspicious thoracic and/or GEP NETs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To retrospectively evaluate and compare (18)F-FDG, (18)F-DOPA and (68)Ga-somatostatin analogues for PET/CT in patients with residual/recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) suspected on the basis of elevated serum calcitonin levels.
Included in the study were 18 patients with recurrent MTC in whom functional imaging with the three tracers was performed. The PET/CT results were compared on a per-patient basis and on a per-lesion-basis.
At least one focus of abnormal uptake was observed on PET/CT in 13 patients with (18)F-DOPA (72.2% sensitivity), in 6 patients with (68)Ga-somatostatin analogues (33.3%) and in 3 patients with (18)F-FDG (16.7%) (p < 0.01). There was a statistically significant difference in sensitivity between (18)F-DOPA and (18)F-FDG PET/CT (p < 0.01) and between (18)F-DOPA and (68)Ga-somatostatin analogue PET/CT (p = 0.04). Overall, 72 lesions were identified on PET/CT with the three tracers. (18)F-DOPA PET/CT detected 85% of lesions (61 of 72), (68)Ga-somatostatin analogue PET/CT 20% (14 of 72) and (18)F-FDG PET/CT 28% (20 of 72). There was a statistically significant difference in the number of lymph node, liver and bone lesions detected with the three tracers (p < 0.01). In particular, post-hoc tests showed a significant difference in the number of lymph node, liver and bone lesions detected by (18)F-DOPA PET/CT and (18)F-FDG PET/CT (p < 0.01 for all the analyses) and by (18)F-DOPA PET/CT and (68)Ga-somatostatin analogue PET/CT (p < 0.01 for all the analyses). The PET/CT results led to a change in management of eight patients (44%).
(18)F-DOPA PET/CT seems to be the most useful imaging method for detecting recurrent MTC lesions in patients with elevated serum calcitonin levels, performing better than (18)F-FDG and (68)Ga-somatostatin analogue PET/CT. (18)F-FDG may complement (18)F-DOPA in patients with an aggressive tumour.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 01/2012; 39(4):569-80. · 4.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several morphological and functional imaging techniques are usually used to detect residual/recurrent medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) with variable results; currently, there is growing interest in positron emission tomography (PET) methodology. Herein, we report our experience of and a literature review about the comparison of different positron emission tomography (PET) tracers in patients with residual/recurrent MTC. (18)F-DOPA PET/CT seems to be the most useful imaging method to detect recurrent MTC lesions, performing better than (18)F-FDG and (68)Ga-somatostatin analogs PET/CT. (18)F-FDG may complement (18)F-DOPA in patients with aggressive tumors. (68)Ga-somatostatin analogs PET/CT may be useful to select patients who could benefit from radioreceptor therapy. The information provided by the various PET tracers reflects different metabolic pathways, and may help to select the most appropriate treatment.
Recent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer 01/2012; 194:385-93.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of recurrent disease is essential for treatment planning in patients with paraganglioma. The aim of this study was to compare 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (123I-MIBG) scintigraphy [whole-body and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) computed tomography (CT) scanning] and fluorine-18-L-dihydroxyphenylalanine positron emission tomography CT (18F-DOPA PET-CT) in the re-staging of patients with known or suspected recurrent paraganglioma.
Twelve patients with known or suspected recurrent paraganglioma after initial surgery were included in the study. 18F-DOPA PET-CT and 123I-MIBG scintigraphy (whole-body and SPECT-CT scanning) were performed in all patients; the results were compared on a per patient and a per lesion basis. Cytohistology (when available) and a combination of laboratory and imaging studies and follow-up were used as reference standard; any modification in treatment planning was recorded. In all cases recurrent disease (local or distant) was confirmed by cytohistology (four cases) or at subsequent follow-up (eight cases).
All patients had positive 18F-DOPA studies (100% sensitivity) whereas nine had positive 123I-MIBG studies (75% sensitivity; P=not significant). 18F-DOPA detected 98% of lesions, whereas 38% were detected with 123I-MIBG (P=0.04). 18F-DOPA showed more lesions than 123I-MIBG in eight patients; both techniques showed the same number of lesions in two cases whereas in two patients 123I-MIBG showed a greater number of lesions. A change in treatment planning was suggested by 18F-DOPA in one patient.
These data support the superiority of 18F-DOPA PET-CT over 123I-MIBG scintigraphy to assess disease extension in patients with recurrent paraganglioma; however, in cases with inoperable disease, 123I-MIBG maintains a unique role in allowing the selection of patients suitable for 123I-MIBG therapy.
Nuclear Medicine Communications 04/2011; 32(7):575-82. · 1.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prognosis of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is very poor. The outcome of these patients is particularly bleak when the disease is complicated by portal vein tumor thrombosis (PVTT), since the increased portal pressure often causes serious gastrointestinal bleedings. Before the introduction of sorafenib (SOR), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, no effective treatment was available for patients with advanced disease. SOR is now considered the standard treatment even for patients with tumor thrombosis, although the well-known interference between tyrosine kinase inhibitors and the coagulation pathway calls for caution against their use in this setting. Here, we report the case of a 74-year-old male patient with advanced HCC and PVTT treated with sunitinib (SUN), another multikinase inhibitor. During the third cycle, our patient experienced a life-threatening hematemesis with hemorrhagic shock that required intensive care treatment and SUN discontinuation. However, he completely recovered, and the PET/CT scan performed 1 year after the adverse effect demonstrated no evidence of the tumor together with portal vein recanalization. The short course of SUN causing both tumor response and gastrointestinal bleeding warrants further studies on the effectiveness of SUN in this setting as well as on the duration of treatment with multikinase inhibitors in patients with tumor thrombosis.