PET scan info can alter cancer treatment

Physicians participating in the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR; Philadelphia) reported changing the treatment plan for 43.1% of their patients undergoing cancer treatment as the result of information gained from a PET scan.

Data were analyzed for PET scans performed through the NOPR program specifically for monitoring cancer therapy. According to results published online Nov. 17 in the journal Cancer, the major changes physicians made in the intended management of their cancer patients as a result of the PET scan included: 1) changing to another chemotherapy agent, 2) changing the mode of therapy, or 3) changing the current dose or duration of therapy.

Currently, PET imaging is not considered the standard of care for monitoring the affects of cancer therapy and, therefore, is not paid for by most insurance companies. However, under Medicare's NOPR program launched in May 2006, the agency began paying for PET (and PET integrated with computed tomography) scans for the purpose of cancer treatment monitoring.

Report supports stem-cell cardiac treatment

Zannos Grekos, MD, presented clinical data to the Dubai Congress on Regenerative Biomedical Technologies (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) demonstrating the successful treatment of end-stage cardiac diseases using autologous adult stem cell therapy.

Grekos offered cardiac nuclear scans, PET scans and echocardiographs performed at six months and one year post-treatment, which he said confirm the regeneration of damaged heart tissue, the existence of new blood vessels and a "dramatic improvement" in heart function in patients treated with adult stem cells extracted from their own blood.

"This is real science, real medicine and real results," Grekos said. "We have moved beyond bench research and clinical trials to show that the power of the body's adult stem cells can be harnessed."

He added, "Our success rate in reversing ischemic cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure is extremely high and with our latest technology we're capturing the same astounding cell regeneration results in other disease classifications."