Impact of 18F-Fluoride PET on Intended Management of Patients with Cancers Other Than Prostate Cancer: Results from the National Oncologic PET Registry

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Journal of Nuclear Medicine





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April 2015


The National Oncologic PET Registry prospectively assessed the impact of PET with 18F-sodium fluoride (NaF PET) on intended management of Medicare patients with suspected or known osseous metastasis. We report our findings for cancers other than prostate and make selected comparisons to our previously reported prostate cancer cohort.


Data were collected from both referring and interpreting physicians before and after NaF PET in patients (age ≥ 65 y) stratified for initial staging (IS; n = 570), for suspected first osseous metastasis (FOM; n = 1,814; breast, 781 [43%]; lung, 380 [21%]; and all other cancers, 653 [36%]), and for suspected progression of osseous metastasis (POM; n = 435).


The dominant indication was bone pain. If NaF PET were unavailable, conventional bone scintigraphy would have been ordered in 85% of patients. In IS, 28% of patients had suspected or confirmed nonosseous metastasis. If neither conventional bone scintigraphy nor NaF PET were available, referring physicians would have ordered other advanced imaging more than 70% of the time rather than initiate treatment for suspected FOM (11%-16%) or POM (18%-22%). When intended management was classified as either treatment or nontreatment, the intended management change for each cancer type was highest in POM, lower in IS, and lowest in FOM. For suspected FOM, intended management change was lower in breast (24%), lung (36%), or other cancers (31%), compared with prostate cancer (44%) (P < 0.0001), but the NaF PET finding (normal/benign/equivocal, probable, or definite metastases) frequencies were similar across cancer types. After normal/benign/equivocal PET results, 15% of breast, 30% lung, and 38% prostate cancer patients had treatment, likely reflecting differences in management of nonosseous disease. For patients with definite metastasis on NaF PET, nonprostate, compared with prostate, cancer patients had post-PET plans for more frequent biopsy, alternative imaging, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. In the smaller IS and POM cohorts, differences among cancer types were not significant.


Overall, NaF PET led to change in intended management in a substantial fraction of nonprostate cancer patients. In the setting of suspected FOM, NaF PET had a lower immediate impact on the treat/nontreat decision in nonprostate versus prostate cancer patients, which is consistent with current practice guidelines.


© 2014 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Inc.

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VCU Internal Medicine Publications