Hospice admission and survival after 18 F-fluoride PET performed for evaluation of osseous metastatic disease in the national oncologic PET registry

Ilana F. Gareen, Bruce E. Hillner, Lucy Hanna, Rajesh Makineni, Fenghai Duan, Anthony F. Shields, Rathan M. Subramaniam, Barry A. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that PET using 18 F-fluoride (NaF PET) for assessment of osseous metastatic disease was associated with substantial changes in intended management in Medicare beneficiaries participating in the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR). Here, we use Medicare administrative data to examine the association between NaF PET results and hospice claims within 18 0 d and 1-y survival. Methods: We classified NOPR NaF PET results linked to Medicare claims by imaging indication (initial staging [IS]; detection of suspected first osseous metastasis [FOM]; suspected progression of osseous metastasis [POM]; or treatment monitoring [TM]) and type of cancer (prostate, lung, breast, or other). Results were classified as definitely positive scan findings versus probably positive scan findings versus negative scan findings for osseous metastasis for IS and FOM; more extensive disease versus no change or less extensive disease for POM; and worse prognosis versus no change or better prognosis for TM, based on the postscan assessment. Our study included 21,167 scans obtained from 2011 to 2014 of consenting NOPR participants aged 65 y or older. Results: The relative risk of hospice claims within 18 0 d of a NaF PET scan was 2.0-7.5 times higher for patients with evidence of new or progressing osseous metastasis than for those without, depending on indication and cancer type (all P, 0.008). The percentage difference in hospice claims for those with a finding of new or more advanced osseous disease ranged from 3.9% for IS prostate patients to 28% for FOM lung patients. Six-month survival was also associated with evidence of new or increased osseous disease; risk of death was 1.8-5.1 times as likely (all P ≤ 0.0001), with percentage differences of approximately 30% comparing positive and negative scans in patients with lung cancer imaged for IS or FOM. Conclusion: Our analyses demonstrated that NaF PET scan results are highly associated with subsequent hospice claims and, ultimately, with patient survival. NaF PET provides important information on the presence of osseous metastasis and prognosis to assist patients and their physicians when making decisions on whether to select palliative care and transition to hospice or whether to continue treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Bone metastasis
  • F-fluoride PET
  • Insurance claims linkage
  • Lung cancer
  • Palliative care
  • Prostate cancer


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