Application of PET/CT to Skin Cancer

With skin cancer, typically PET/CT is used after diagnosis. Although, sometimes PET/CT is used in diagnosis to guide biopsy.

PET/CT is the most powerful and accurate tool for staging, measuring response to therapy, restaging and surveillance. The evidence strongly supports having a PET/CT scan to answer each of these questions, and several PET/CT scans to detect recurrence after treatment is completed. After diagnosis, a patient might have as many as 6 PET/CT scans over the next two years.

Skin Cancer Case

Patient: 55yo male with a history of melanoma. Patient now presents with new axillary lymph node enlargement. PET/CT was ordered to characterize lesion and restage the patient.

Results: FDG revealed multiple areas of cancer that were not seen with CT-alone. The patient was upstaged to stage IV. This helped the patient’s physician select the most appropriate therapy.

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