A study on data from America's National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), has confirmed that FDG-PET or PET scan has a major impact on management of cancer patient care.
FDG-PET, also called PET imaging, is a test that images the function of cells to show differences between healthy tissue and diseased tissue by using a small amount of a radioactive chemical combined with sugar. This combination is called FDG, thus the test is sometimes called an FDG-PET scan. It is used to evaluate various neurological and cardiac disorders, as well as for diagnosing, staging, and monitoring the treatment of many different cancers
The findings of this study made the clinicians to change the intended care of more than one in three cancer patients. Out of almost 23,000 patients involved in the study, more than 1500 participating facilities contributed FDG-PET scan data.
After analysing the registry data, it was found that FDG-PET is linked to a 36.5pct change in the treatment or no-treatment decision.
The NOPR is designed to collect questionnaire data from referring physicians on intended patient management before and after a FDG-PET scan.
In response to this positive data, NOPR has formally asked CMS to reconsider the current National Coverage decision on FDG-PET to end the data collection requirements for diagnosis, staging and restaging. Later, CMS will review the data and issue their decision regarding reimbursement for PET scans covered only through the NOPR.
"The data collected by NOPR fulfils an unmet need with its primary scientific aim of measuring the impact of PET on patient management in a manner that is minimally intrusive to care providers. Our findings are representative of Medicare patients for whom PET would be ordered if it were covered by CMS for the expanded indications," said the authors.
The study is published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).