New Type Of PET/CT Scan Gives More Accurate Picture To Pinpoint Neuroblastoma

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Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood and the most common cancer in infancy, with an incidence of about 60,5 cases per year in the U.S and a 100 cases per year in the UK. Nearly half of neuroblastoma cases occur in children younger than two years.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. Neuroblastoma most commonly arises in and around the adrenal glands. However, neuroblastoma can also develop in other areas of the abdomen and in the chest, neck and near the spine, where groups of nerve cells exist. 

Some forms of neuroblastoma go away on their own, while others may require multiple treatments. To determine how aggressive the tumor is and find the best possible treatment, doctors carry out multiple scans employing a variety of techniques. 

In a new trial at The Royal Marsden and University College London children will instead of radioactive iodine tracer [123I]mIBG will be given a different radioactive iodine tracer called [124I]mIBG which is chemically identical to [123I]mIBG but emits a different type of radiation that can be picked up on a PET/CT scan.  This new type of PET/CT scan will give a more accurate three dimensional picture to pinpoint where the neuroblastoma has grown or spread.

Doctors can use this information to offer the best treatment options for each patient depending upon how well their cancer has responded to treatment and the risk of it returning. This scan may also remove the need for multiple scans for patients in the future.

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