Objectives: The objective of the current review was to assess published data on the role of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) for evaluation of nodal residual disease after definitive chemoradiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Methods: Studies were identified by searching PubMed electronic databases. Only studies using a post-chemoradiotherapy PET for nodal residual disease evaluation were included in the present review. Both prospective and retrospective studies were included. Information regarding sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of PET for detecting nodal residual disease after definitive chemoradiotherapy for HNSCC was extracted and analyzed. Results: Twenty published studies were included in the present review. Existing data suggest that a negative postchemoradiotherapy PET scan is associated with a negative predictive value up to 100%. The sensitivity of PET in detecting nodal residual disease is greater for scans performed ≥ 10 weeks after definitive treatment with chemoradiotherapy for HNSCC. Conclusions: Further studies are needed to quantify the reliability of PET in detecting nodal residual disease after chemoradiotherapy for locoregionally advanced HNSCC. The optimal timing of PET imaging after chemoradiotherapy remains to be defined.
Keywords: Positron Emission Tomography, Neck Dissection, Head Cancer, Neck Cancer, cell carcinoma, cervical nodal disease, CT scan, hypermetabolic areas, omography, Papillomavirus, Head and Neck Cancer
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