Study objectives: Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has an
unfavorable prognosis, especially when the disease is extensive at
presentation. Accurate staging procedures are therefore needed for
treatment planning. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a modern
noninvasive imaging technique, the value of which for the staging of
SCLC was investigated in the present study.
Patients: Thirty-one patients
with suspected lung cancer were investigated for staging purposes using
chest radiography, CT of the thorax and abdomen, abdominal ultrasound,
and bone scanning. Twenty-five patients also received PET examinations
during the staging procedures. Five of these patients were found to
have SCLC, while two patients had mixed lesion types. Further analysis
of the latter group was carried out.
detected the primary tumor in all patients, and lymph nodes in five
patients. All lymph nodes were proved to be malignant by endoscopic
ultrasonography-guided fine-needle aspiration. Only one patient had
distant metastases, which were detected by both CT and PET.
Conclusions: PET appears be a suitable imaging method
in SCLC. A potential role for the technique as a standard staging
procedure will need to be tested by investigating a larger number of
patients in a prospective study.