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Role of PET/CT in Treatment Planning for Head and Neck Cancer Patients Undergoing Definitive Radiotherapy

  • Arslan, Sonay (Department of Radiation Oncology, Diyarbakir Gazi Yasargil Education and Research Hospital) ;
  • Abakay, Candan Demiroz (Department of Radiation Oncology, Uludag University, Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Sen, Feyza (Department of Nuclear Medicine, Uludag University, Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Altay, Ali (Department of Radiation Oncology, Uludag University, Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Akpinar, Tayyar (Department of Nuclear Medicine, Uludag University, Faculty of Medicine) ;
  • Ekinci, Ahmet Siyar (Department of Medical Oncology, Diyarbakir Gazi Yasargil Education and Research Hospital) ;
  • Esbah, Onur (Department of Medical Oncology, Diyarbakir Gazi Yasargil Education and Research Hospital) ;
  • Uslu, Nuri (Department of Radiation Oncology, Diyarbakir Gazi Yasargil Education and Research Hospital) ;
  • Kekilli, Kezban Esra (Department of Radiation Oncology, Bursa Ali Osman Sonmez Oncology Hospital) ;
  • Ozkan, Lutfi (Department of Radiation Oncology, Uludag University, Faculty of Medicine)
  • Published : 2015.01.22

Abstract

Background: In this study, we aimed to investigate the benefits of 18F-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FGD-PET/CT) imaging for staging and radiotherapy planning in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing definitive radiotherapy. Materials and Methods: Thirty-seven head and neck cancer patients who had undergone definitive radiotherapy and PET/CT at the Uludag University Medical Faculty Department of Radiation Oncology were investigated in order to determine the role of PET/CT in staging and radiotherapy planning. Results: The median age of this patient group of 32 males and 5 females was 57 years (13-84years). The stage remained the same in 18 cases, decreased in 5 cases and increased in 14 cases with PET/CT imaging. Total gross tumor volume (GTV) determined by CT (GTVCT-Total) was increased in 32 cases (86.5%) when compared to total GTV determined by PET/CT (GTVPET/CT-Total). The GTV of the primary tumor determined by PET/CT (GTVPET/CT) was larger in 3 cases and smaller in 34 cases compared to that determined by CT (GTVCT). The GTV of lymph nodes determined by PET/CT (GTVLNPET/CT) was larger in 20 cases (54%) and smaller in 12 cases (32.5%) when compared to GTV values determined by CT (GTVLNCT). No pathological lymph nodes were observed in the remaining five cases with both CT and PET/CT. Conclusions: We can conclude that PET/CT can significantly affect both pretreatment staging and assessed target tumor volume in patients with head and neck cancer. We therefore recommend examining such cases with PEC/CT before treatment.

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