January 13, 2009

Uptake of 18F-FDG Tracer for Oncologic PET

Tumors with moderate-to-high uptake on FDG-PET are illustrated in red. Prostate cancer has unpredictable uptake (blue)

18F-FDG = 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose

  • Most widely used tracer in oncologic PET
  • Only PET tracer approved by US FDA for routine clinical use
  • Biologic analogue = Glucose
  • Glucose is used in aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, glucose consumption or metabolism
Oncologic Applications of 18F-FDG PET
  • Tumor uptake is related to increased and insufficient use of glucose by tumor cells
  • Moderate-to-high uptake in most lung, colorectal, esophageal, stomach, head and neck, ovarian and breast cancers
  • Variable uptake in thyroid, testicular, hepatocellular, renal, bladder, sarcoma and neuroendocrine tumors
  • Unpredictable uptake in prostate cancer
Not tumor specific, uptake can be seen in benign processes that have increased glucose use in cells (inflammatory cells, hyperplastic marrow, thymic cells)

Juweid ME and Cheson BD. Positron-emission tomography and assessment of cancer therapy. New Engl J Med 2006;354:496.

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