PET/CT Scans May Be Less Accurate in Elderly Mesothelioma Patients

pet/ct scans

Researchers at Case Western Reserve are warning cancer doctors not to rely too heavily on PET/CT scans when diagnosing malignant mesothelioma – especially in older patients. PET/CT is an important tool for staging mesothelioma and can help with diagnosis. But a new case report highlights the problem of false-negative PET/CT scans.  In this case involving a 77-year-old man, PET/CT showed no mesothelioma. Even the man’s lung fluid tests were negative for mesothelioma. The case is a potent reminder that biopsy is still the gold standard for diagnosing asbestos cancer.  PET/CT Scans and Other Tools for Diagnosing Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a tricky cancer to diagnose. Most patients do not even have symptoms until the disease is in a later stage. … Continue reading PET/CT Scans May Be Less Accurate in Elderly Mesothelioma Patients »

MRI Imaging May Be Superior to CT for Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Staging

MRI imaging

When it comes to diagnosing and monitoring treatment response in people with pleural mesothelioma, MRI imaging may be better than CT.  That is the message from a new Italian study published in the online medical journal Cancers.  RIght now, CT (computed tomography) is the most popular form of imaging for pleural mesothelioma. Cancer doctors use CT images to help diagnose mesothelioma. They also use it to see how widespread the cancer is and to find out if treatment is making a difference.  But radiology researchers at Pisa University Hospital say MRI imaging has advantages over CT for people with the rare asbestos cancer.  Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Prognosis  Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most serious of several health conditions linked to … Continue reading MRI Imaging May Be Superior to CT for Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Staging »

CT Evaluation Correlates with Actual Mesothelioma Tumor Volume, Subtype, and Survival

CT evaluation

Two new studies highlight the value of CT evaluation for patients with either peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma.  CT stands for computed tomography. The technology uses X-rays to create three dimensional images of internal structures.  The studies show CT evaluation can give doctors an accurate idea of the size and extent of mesothelioma tumors. These scans can also help predict which patients have the best odds of survival. This helps doctors plan better, more effective treatment strategies.  What is Malignant Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that grows on the membranes around internal organs. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. This kind of tumor starts on the pleural membrane around the lungs.  Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for … Continue reading CT Evaluation Correlates with Actual Mesothelioma Tumor Volume, Subtype, and Survival »

Artificial Intelligence Improves Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Study Finds

artificial intelligence

There is more evidence that artificial intelligence may have a role to play in helping doctors diagnose deadly malignant mesothelioma earlier.  A study conducted at Japan’s Hyogo College of Medicine used past patient records to test a deep convolutional neural network (CDNN). This is a complex computer program designed to evaluate diagnostic criteria.  Pleural mesothelioma is a difficult cancer for doctors to diagnose. Artificial intelligence can help by quickly comparing diagnostic data to hundreds of past cases. In the Japanese study, the AI produced the most accurate mesothelioma diagnoses when combined with all of the available patient data. The Challenge of Diagnosing Mesothelioma Mesothelioma tumors grow on the membranes around internal organs. They usually come from past exposure to asbestos. … Continue reading Artificial Intelligence Improves Mesothelioma Diagnosis, Study Finds »

Concerning CT Findings and Mesothelioma Prognosis

Concerning CT Findings

One of the nation’s top mesothelioma doctors says concerning CT findings may be one of the best ways to predict peritoneal mesothelioma outcomes.  Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is with MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. His newly published study compares 11 different concerning CT findings with outcomes in 100 mesothelioma patients.  Sugarbaker and his team found that the prognostic value of these 11 CT features is on a par with peritoneal cancer index (PCI) and cytoreduction (CC) score. It means that CT findings could become even more important for mesothelioma treatment planning.  CT Scans Reveal Information About Peritoneal Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs on the lining around the abdomen. It is an aggressive and hard-to-treat cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. … Continue reading Concerning CT Findings and Mesothelioma Prognosis »

Prognostic Value of PET/CT in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients

prognostic value of PET/CT

New data highlights the prognostic value of PET/CT scans for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare malignancy with a poor prognosis. But some patients tend to do better than others. Scientists are always looking for better ways to predict which patients will respond best to which treatment. A new Turkish study focused on the prognostic value of scans that measure tumor volume and metabolic activity. They conclude that PET/CT is a valuable way to predict mesothelioma outcomes. Doctors can use the information to help plan for chemotherapy or surgical treatment.  How PET/CT Scans Work Doctors have been aware of malignant mesothelioma since the 1930s. That is when it first started appearing among asbestos workers. But there … Continue reading Prognostic Value of PET/CT in Pleural Mesothelioma Patients »

New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier

new lung cancer screening guidelines

New lung cancer screening guidelines for smokers might have an unexpected benefit for people who have also been exposed to asbestos: They may catch mesothelioma earlier.  Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer caused by asbestos. It develops over many years. Many mesothelioma patients do not show any symptoms until the disease is very advanced. There is currently no routine screening for mesothelioma. The new lung cancer screening guidelines apply to people ages 50 to 80. They suggest that those who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 20 years should have annual low-dose CT scans.  If screening shows a tumor, doctors can dig further to determine its type. Both lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are more … Continue reading New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier »

Mesothelioma Biopsies: Ultrasound Guidance Beats CT

mesothelioma biopsies

A new study concludes that ultrasound guided mesothelioma biopsies are safer and just as effective as CT guided biopsies.  Italian researchers analyzed both types of guidance systems for collecting tissue samples from mesothelioma patients. They compared the diagnostic yield and safety of each method.  It turns out that ionizing radiation is not necessary for successful mesothelioma biopsies. As long as the technician is experienced, ultrasound guidance may be the better choice.  The Importance of Mesothelioma Biopsies Pleural mesothelioma is a rare but highly aggressive kind of cancer. It grows on the membrane that surrounds the lungs. By the time patients experience symptoms of mesothelioma, the disease is often very advanced.  Malignant mesothelioma can be tricky to diagnose. Mesothelioma biopsies are … Continue reading Mesothelioma Biopsies: Ultrasound Guidance Beats CT »

CT Scans Fail To Identify Metastatic Mesothelioma Prior to Surgery

CT scans

CT scans are not a reliable way to detect the spread of mesothelioma into certain lymph nodes between the ribs. This is important because people with mesothelioma cells in their posterior intercostal lymph nodes (PILN) do not tend to get good results from P/D surgery. Surgeons need a good way to find mesothelioma cells in these lymph nodes before they decide to perform this risky operation. But University of Pennsylvania researchers say CT scans are not the best method.  CT Scans in Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Prognosis CT stands for computerized tomography. A CT machine uses a series of X-ray images from different angles to create a 3D picture of a mesothelioma tumor. Most hospitals have a CT scanner. They are … Continue reading CT Scans Fail To Identify Metastatic Mesothelioma Prior to Surgery »

Mesothelioma Staging: Laparoscopy May Find Tumors PET-CT Misses

mesothelioma staging

Cancer researchers at Baylor College of Medicine say diagnostic laparoscopy (DL) improves the accuracy of pleural mesothelioma staging prior to surgery. It is especially valuable for patients with cancer in both the chest and abdomen. Staging is a way for doctors to determine how widespread cancer is. Accurate staging is critical for the best surgical outcomes. For the right patients, mesothelioma surgery can be a life saver.  Many mesothelioma patients undergo PET/CT as part of the staging process. But the Baylor study suggests that adding a tool called a laparoscope to the process may find tumors that PET-CT misses. What is Mesothelioma Staging? Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that grows on internal membranes. It usually occurs on the … Continue reading Mesothelioma Staging: Laparoscopy May Find Tumors PET-CT Misses »

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