Objective The current methods of detection of recurrent colorectal cancer after surgical treatment are inaccurate using conventional imaging. This study set out to detect early recurrence by means of PET in patients treated surgically for colorectal cancer by curative resection.
Methods Thirty-one disease-free patients were recruited and underwent FDG-PET. The results were verified by clinical, surgical and radiological follow up and/or biopsy to evaluate the accuracy for detecting recurrence.
Results PET detected 6 sites of increased activity in 5 patients. Three of these underwent surgery. One was false positive with no evident tumour and two underwent an hepatic resection with removal of a homental metastasis. The sensitivity was 100% and specificity 83.3%. Clinical management was altered in two cases (6.4%).
Conclusions This study demostrates that PET is more accurate than conventional imaging for the evaluation of recurrence in colorectal cancer patients. FDG-PET should be considered in the follow-up of patients after treatment for colorectal cancer in addition to other imaging methods.