Integrated PET/CT in the Staging of NSCLC (Textbook Chapter)

Walter De Wever*

*University Hospitals; Leuven, Belgium


Lung cancer is a common disease with approximately 3 million newly diagnosed patients worldwide, and it is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in many countries. Approximately 80% of patients are diagnosed with nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and 20% are diagnosed with small-cell-lung cancer. Throughout the course of diagnosis and treatment, patients may undergo multiple imaging studies depending on their cancer type and treatment course. For patients diagnosed with NSCLC, the use of computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), and a combination of both (PET-CT) are commonly used. As a result, it is imperative that radiologic technologists (RTs) are educated about the roles each modality plays in the diagnosis and treatment of this patient population. This textbook chapter CE course will discuss and focus on patients with NSCLC, how patients with this type of lung cancer are evaluated, tumor assessment, and tumor staging. This course will also examine lung nodule staging and the role that CT, PET, and PET-CT play in determining nodule size, chest wall invasion, lymph nodule involvement, and metastatic spread. Noninvasive imaging modalities that are used to evaluate patients with solitary pulmonary modules are also discussed. CT, PET, and PET-CT, their advantages and disadvantages in the assessment, staging and restaging, tumor recurrence, and radiation therapy planning will be closely examined. Advances in integrated PET/CT-fusion of data sets and their promising future in diagnostic imaging and staging will also be covered.


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