Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains a difficult disease to treat and continues to portend a poor prognosis, as most patients are unresectable at diagnosis. 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) combined with CT (PET/CT) has been a cornerstone in oncological imaging of different cancers; however, the role of PET/CT in PDAC is continually evolving and currently not well established. Studies have shown the potential of PET/CT in guiding the management of patients with PDAC, with possible added benefit over anatomic imaging with CT or MRI in certain scenarios. PET/CT may be useful in diagnosis, initial staging, treatment response assessment, differentiation of recurrent tumor from post-treatment fibrosis, and radiotherapy planning. Additionally, PET/CT may be a cost-effective modality due to upstaging of patients originally deemed as surgical candidates. Recently, the advent of simultaneous PET/MRI represents an exciting advancement in hybrid functional imaging with potential applications in the imaging of PDAC. The advantages of PET/MRI include simultaneous acquisition to improve registration of fusion images, lower radiation dose, superior soft tissue contrast, and availability of multiparametric imaging. Studies are underway to evaluate the utility of PET/MRI in PDAC, including in initial staging and treatment response assessment and to determine the subgroup of patients that will benefit from PET/MRI. Further studies are warranted in both PET/CR and PET/MRI to better understand the role of these modalities in PDAC.
- Pancreatic cancer
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging