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Oncotarget. 2016 Mar 1;7(9):9645-51. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.7506.

A follow-up analysis of positron emission tomography/computed tomography in detecting hidden malignancies at the time of diagnosis of membranous nephropathy.

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Department of Nephrology, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China.
Department of Nuclear Medicine and PET Center, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China.
Medical Genetics Center of Guangdong Women and Children Hospital, Guangzhou, China.


Membranous nephropathy (MN) is the most common kidney disease reported in a variety of malignant diseases. Search for an occult malignancy in MN has presented special challenges. 124 MN patients with a physical examination not suspicious for cancer underwent screening for an occult malignancy with either 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) scanning (n = 49) or conventional screening (n = 75) at the time of diagnosis of MN, and were followed up (median,28 months). 154 patients who refused to undergo any screening were followed up (median, 30 months). In FDG-PET/CT cohort, 5 (10.20%) patients were screened and confirmed as malignancy, in contrast, 1 (1.33%) patient in conventional screening cohort. During follow-up, none of malignancy was detected in FDG-PET/CT cohort, 3(4.05%) patients in conventional screening cohort, and 8(5.19%) patients in no-screening cohort. All 6 cases of cancer were detected at early stages and underwent curative resection, and after the resection, proteinuria decreased. In contrast, 11 cases of cancer detected during follow-up died without any remission of proteinuria. These preliminary data provide the first evidence for a potential cancer surveillance that the malignancy screening either through conventional or by PET-CT at the diagnosis of MN led to an early diagnosis and curative treatment.


PET/CT; Pathology Section; malignancy; membranous nephropathy

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