Purpose: To assess the impact of [F-18] FDG-PET/CT on the restaging and changing management of patients with malignant melanoma.
Methods: Seventy-eight patients (32 female, 27-83 years) were reviewed. Treatment planning before and after [F-18] FDG-PET/CT scan was evaluated for changes in the management of the disease. Restaging was classified according to the disease extent as follows: local recurrence, locoregional recurrence or distant recurrence. Initial restaging of patients was as follows: local recurrence in 11 patients, locoregional recurrence in 23 patients and distant recurrence in 44 of 78 patients. All the patients were injected with 370 MBq of [F-18] FDG and imaged from the head to feet after 60 min. All the patients fasted for 4-6 h before imaging and blood glucose levels were below 140 mg/dl. Images were taken using a PET/CT scanner (Siemens Biograph). Two nuclear medicine physicians and a radiologist (all experienced in oncology) interpreted the images.
Results: In 27% of the patients the management was changed after the [F-18] FDG-PET/CT studies. Upstaging from locoregional recurrence to distant recurrence occurred in a striking 5 of 23 (22%) patients. The sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for lesion detection were 95%, and accuracy was 94.9%. There were two false-positive and two false-negative studies.
Conclusion: [F-18] FDG-PET/CT seems to be a valuable diagnostic tool in restaging and management of patients with malignant melanoma suspected of recurrence especially in patients with locoregional recurrence and distant recurrence.