PET, PET/CT disproved with esophageal cancer

The benefit of PET alone and PET/CT in esophageal cancer is not proved, according to a study published online on 20 August by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

IQWiG researchers concluded a lack of comparative studies prevent a definite conclusion on the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of PET and PET/CT. It also "remains unclear whether these diagnostic techniques can detect the spreading of tumors better than conventional diagnostics," the report stated (IQWiG, 20 August 2013).

IQWiG searched international literature for studies that examined the outcomes of diagnostic interventions using PET or PET/CT and whether there were any improvements, such as enhanced patient survival, improved quality of life, avoidance of unnecessary operations, or additional diagnostic interventions.

A total of 48 studies investigated the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of PET alone and PET/CT, the majority of which examined the accuracy of primary staging. There also were 19 studies that directly compared PET with CT.

However, the study noted, conclusions favoring either modality could not be drawn due to lack of statistical significance, or the data could not be interpreted with sufficient certainty.

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