PET has emerged as a powerful diagnostic tool in the management of patients with cancer. The published literature has provided evidence of the superior utility over conventional imaging methods of the principal PET tracer [18F]-FDG in the staging of a range of cancers, in monitoring disease recurrence, and in changing patient management to more appropriate therapy. Emerging new PET tracers that can quantitate non-invasively biologic processes within tumours, and the introduction of PET/CT into routine clinical practice, are further enhancing the role of PET in oncology. PET has the potential to dramatically improve our ability to manage patients with cancer, and is making major contributions to our understanding of cancer biology and in developing new therapies.

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