Molecular Imaging's Benefits In The Evaluation And Successful...
Main Category: Cancer / Oncology Also Included In: Lymphoma / Leukemia / Myeloma Radiology / Nuclear Medicine MRI / PET / Ultrasound Article Date: 03 Sep 2010 A series of studies published in the September Journal of Nuclear Medicine show that molecular imaging plays a critical role in the evaluation and treatment planning for a broad spectrum of ...
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Since: Dec 05
#1 Sep 17, 2010
Molecular Imaging Risks
One of the major problems with using imaging scans to predict cancer patients response to chemotherapy is you give the patient potentially toxic and ineffective drugs on a genetically-unstable tumor and wait, and then make measurements. And then give more potentially toxic and ineffective drugs and wait, and repeat measurements.
You still have the patient getting potentially toxic and ineffective treatment and then you still have to wait until you could try Plan B. All the while, mutagenic effects of the wrong chemo can start the chain of metastatic events. You measure the drug effects on tumors in the patient (one treatment regimen at a time), rather than in the laboratory where as many as twenty treatment regimens can be done to see which one works best.
The June issue of Oncology News International (June 2010, V 19, No 6) quotes a Duke University study of the use of high-tech cancer imaging, with one representative finding being that the average Medicare lung cancer patient receives 11 radiographs, 6 CT scans, a PET scan, and MRI, two echocardiograms, and an ultrasound, all within two years of diagnosis. A study co-author (Dr. Kevan Schulman) asks:Are all these imaging studies essential? Are they all of value? Is the information really meaningful? What is changing as a result of all this imaging?
Why is it that oncologists are so accepting of high tech, expensive imaging studies? For one thing, clinical trials virtually always have time to disease progression as a primary endpoint. Without the imaging studies, one cant get accurate time to progression data. So these are tests performed for the benefit of drug companies seeking new drug approval, for clinical investigators seeking contracts and publications, and for clinicians seeking an easy way to make clinical decisions (and, occasionally, seeking income enhancement).
And then there is all the data that exposes all the risks involved with imaging scans. Current safety standards do not take into account synergistic effects of ionizing raidiation and magnetic and electromagnetic fields. There should be an urgent need to investigate this aspect in more detail for exposure levels that will occur at PET/CT/MR systems. Sometimes with (over) treatment, while a life may be saved, a life may be taken.
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