Molecular imaging with PET has emerged as a powerful imaging tool in the clinical care of oncological patients. Assessing therapy response is a prime application of PET and so the integration of PET into multicentre trials can offer valuable scientific insights and shape future clinical practice. However, there are a number of logistic and methodological challenges that have to be dealt with. These range from availability and regulatory compliance of the PET radiopharmaceutical to availability of scan time for research purposes. Standardization of imaging and reconstruction protocols, quality control, image processing and analysis are of paramount importance. Strategies for harmonization of the final image and the quantification result are available and can be implemented within the scope of multicentre accreditation programmes. Data analysis can be performed either locally or by centralized review. Response assessment can be done visually or using more quantitative approaches, depending on the research question. Large-scale real-time centralized review can be achieved using web-based solutions. Specific challenges for the future are inclusion of PET/MRI scanners in multicentre trials and the incorporation of radiomic analyses. Inclusion of PET in multicentre trials is a necessity to guarantee the further development of PET for routine clinical care and may yield very valuable scientific insights.
European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 27, 2017
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