Amino acid PET catches a spectrum of pediatric malignancies

September 26, 2013

Cancer screening with amino acid PET has already been validated for adults, but it has now been deemed a powerful tool for tumor localization in children and young adults, according to a study published Sept. 19 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Amino acid PET pinpoints areas of cellular proliferation and makes up for the limitations of mainstay biomarkers like FDG. Researchers including Sebastian M. Harris, MD, from the department of radiological sciences at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., tested the feasibility and biodistribution of C-11 Methionine in a young cohort of patients and found it to be potentially beneficial for imaging growths throughout the head, neck, torso and pelvis as well as in the arms and legs. There were a few limitations, including high background uptake in the upper abdomen especially in the pancreas and liver.