AMONG the most exciting advances in the treatment of malignant disease has been the dramatic improvement in survival of patients with lymphoma and Hodgkin disease.1 This has been accomplished by the use of new drug combinations and sophisticated techniques for radiation therapy; drugs and irradiation are often given together or in sequence. Such an approach is being extended to other tumor types, particularly carcinoma of the breast and a variety of tumors originating in the pelvis. The choice of therapy for a given patient depends, to a critical degree, on accurate information on the extent of disease (staging).
Many techniques exist for the assessment of the extent of malignant disease. They include clinical examination, laboratory tests, routine roentgenographic procedures, tomography, lymphography, ultrasound, angiography, and even exploratory surgery. The more sophisticated studies, however, may be hazardous, expensive, or not amenable to repetition necessary for assessment of the results of therapy.
Lilien DL. The Current Status of Tumor Imaging. JAMA. 1974;230(5):735–738. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050061032
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