Purpose: Accurate staging of patients with melanoma is vital to guide appropriate treatment. 2-Deoxy-2-[F-18]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) has been reported to be a sensitive and specific technique for the staging of advanced melanoma, however, few studies provide information regarding its impact on patient management. Procedures: We retrospectively reviewed the FDG-PET scan results of 92 patients with melanoma who had 126 scans performed over a six-year period. These patients were seen at the specialist melanoma clinic at our Institution, and 84 patients (92%) had stage III or IV disease. FDG-PET scan results were correlated with computed tomography (CT) scans and other imaging when available, and with clinical follow-up of a minimum of three to six months. The impact of FDG-PET scans on patient management was also assessed. Results: On a lesion-by-lesion analysis, FDG-PET had a sensitivity of 92%, a specificity of 88%, and an accuracy of 91%. FDG-PET correctly affected the clinical decision-making process in 40 of 126 patient studies (32%), particularly assisting in the selection of patients for surgery. Conclusion: FDG-PET has an important role in guiding the management of patients with advanced melanoma, particularly when surgery is contemplated.
- Clinical management
- Positron emission tomography