Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and lethal cutaneous neuroendocrine carcinoma. Imaging is crucial for accurate staging, which remains a strong predictor of survival, as well as earlier detection of recurrence and progression, which are common despite aggressive management. There is no consensus on the role of initial and subsequent imaging for MCC.
We sought to evaluate the use of 2-fluoro-[(18)F]-deoxy-2-D-glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) in the management of MCC.
In all, 270 FDG-PET/CT studies were performed in 97 patients with pathology-proven MCC at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston, Mass, from August 2003 to December 2010.
FDG-PET/CT scans were obtained as part of the initial (61 scans in 61 patients) and subsequent (209 scans in 79 patients) treatment strategies. MCCs were FDG-avid with a mean maximum standardized uptake value of primary lesions of 6.5 (range 1.3-12.9) and a mean maximum standardized uptake value of regional and distant metastases of 7.2 (range 1.5-9.9). FDG-PET/CT upstaged 16% of patients who underwent baseline scans. FDG-PET/CT studies showed that bone and bone-marrow metastases were more common than previously reported, and were often undetected by CT.
Our study is limited by its retrospective design, and potential referral bias associated with a tertiary care center.
FDG-PET/CT performed as part of the initial management strategy tended to upstage patients with more advanced disease. FDG-PET/CT performed as part of the subsequent treatment strategy identified metastatic disease, particularly in bone/bone marrow, which was not seen on CT. FDG-PET/CT imaging is a valuable staging and restaging tool in MCC management.
Am old enough to understand the difference between the Bay of Pigs - and roasting a pig at a epicurian feast. Been thru the hippy, yippie and yuppie years - always remaining who I am.
Very much believe in "Sing your own song - weave your own tapestry"
Am young enough to still know the thrill of new discoveries, the beauty of the evening, to celebrate the joy of another tommorow.
Survived these many decades with a severe medical problems. Sorting out the maze of now having two lymphomas and all their nasty little companions, but I continue.
Besides, being a simple iconoclastic eclectic, have been called many things. An incurable romanticist - with a strong touch of reality. Thinker, intellectual (God, how I hate that term) - been told I am a lion with the heart of the poet.
Know how to wage war and conquer my foes - but would rather be known as one who brings hope and life. To bring hope into anothers life is the ultimate of joys.
Life should be about bringing hope, peace, vision... a sense of purpose beyond yourself.