, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp 701-709,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 10 Sep 2013

Clinical impact of 18F-FDG PET-CT in recurrent stage III/IV melanoma: a tertiary centre Specialist Skin Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (SSMDT) experience

Abstract

Objectives

To assess the clinical impact of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (FDG PET-CT) compared with contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) in patients referred via the Specialist Skin Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (SSMDT) with recurrent stage III/IV malignant melanoma (MM).

Methods

Forty-five patients were referred for further evaluation with FDG PET-CT. Findings on FDG PET-CT were compared with prior CECT and the clinical impact on subsequent management decisions was determined retrospectively. A major clinical impact was defined as a change in treatment plan resulting from identification of additional sites of disease or by characterisation of indeterminate findings on prior imaging. A minor impact was defined as confirmation of known sites of disease as identified on prior CECT.

Results

Fifty-one PET-CT examinations were performed. FDG PET-CT had a major clinical impact in 21 cases (41.2 %), of which 18 examinations were performed in patients with proven or suspected stage IV MM. FDG PET-CT had a minor impact in 23 cases (45.1 %), and there were five false-positive cases (9.8 %) and two false-negative cases (3.9 %).

Conclusion

FDG PET-CT is an effective tool in recurrent stage III/IV MM with a significant clinical impact on management decisions in patients who are appropriately referred via the highly specialised forum of the SSMDT.

Key Points

FDG PET-CT is an effective tool in recurrent stage III/IV malignant melanoma.

FDG PET-CT has a significant clinical impact on management decisions.

• Effective use of FDG PET-CT is via referral from the Specialist Skin Cancer Multidisciplinary Team.