SPECT-MRI fusion minimizes surgery for diagnosis of early-stage cervical cancer patients

A recent study found that cervical cancer patients without enlarged lymph nodes could benefit from SPECT-MRI imaging of their sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) to assess whether metastases are present.

Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide, with more than 500,000 new cases globally each year. According to a 2014 University of Maryland study, cervical cancer affects 18.6 women per 100,000 in the United States. Early diagnosis is critical. Although surgical removal and examination of the sentinel lymph nodes remains the most accurate way to determine whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, SPECT-MRI imaging may reduce false negative MRI findings in early-stage patients and potentially save some from invasive diagnostic procedures.

Researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht, Netherlands, used Tc-99m-nanocolloid SPECT-MRI fusion for the assessment of SLNs (for size and absence of sharp demarcation) in patients with early-stage cervical cancer.

 Jacob P. Hoogendam, MD, the corresponding author of the study, notes,