PET/CT and Brain tumours Diagnosis and treatment
PET/CT is an excellent non-invasive technique to diagnose brain tumours. CT scanning can build up a very accurate picture of the internal structure of the brain and highlight a mass that maybe cancerous. PET scanning is able to provide biochemical information on whether the mass is cancerous and also provide information on the level of cancer growth and its aggressiveness (how fast the cancer is growing), which is needed to determine the best for of treatment.
PET/CT is also useful post-operatively helping to determine if all of the cancer has been removed and if a cancer has re-occurred.
The main ways in which PET/CT can help in the treatment of brain tumours is outlined below:
PET/CT can aid Neurosurgeons by assessing the blood flow and the metabolism of the brain as they prepare to remove a tumor and prescribe any post-surgery therapy.
Using PET-CT to accurately map and locate the tumour allows the physician to see where the tumor is still alive or where it is growing. This information can help to determine whether a course of therapy is effective, allowing radiation oncologists to pinpoint radiation therapy more accurately.
Brain cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment usually wait weeks or months to finish their first course of treatment before their physician is able to determine the efficacy of the chosen course of treatment.
PET-CT shortens the period of time before a physician can see whether a tumor is being affected by the course of treatment. This is a powerful tool to guide physicians in customizing therapies.