Researchers have found that two types of scan are better than one when it comes to detecting spread of ovarian cancer within the abdominal cavity. Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning is useful for detecting the activity of tumour tissue, while computed tomography (CT) is good for imaging anatomical detail. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School have found that combining the two detects ovarian cancer spread better than using PET alone.
They carried out ten PET scans and 33 PET-CT scans on a group of 28 patients with ovarian cancer which was suspected to have spread within the abdominal cavity. They found that PET-CT could distinguish cancer from normal tissue in 100 per cent of cases, while PET was only able to do this in 52 per cent of cases. However, this is only a small study, so larger trials are needed before this new approach could be used routinely in women with ovarian cancer.