Possible role of FDG-PET in the early prediction of therapy outcome in liver metastases of colorectal cancer

Hybridoma. 1999 Feb;18(1):87-91. doi: 10.1089/hyb.1999.18.87.


Nonresectable colorectal cancer metastases in the liver respond to chemotherapy in 20-25% only. Early identification of nonresponders might allow the use of other regimens. In a limited feasibility study, it should be determined whether (a) a single high-dose chemotherapy application has an early effect on glucose-utilization, detectable and quantitatable by noninvasive positron emission tomography using [18F]-Fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG-PET) and (b) assess its value as a predictor of the final therapeutic outcome. A total of 10 patients with documented nonresectable liver metastases of a colorectal cancer were studied by FDG-PET, prior and 72 h after a single infusion of 5-Fluorouracil and Folinic acid (5-FU/FA). Glucose utilization was quantitated by determination of standard-uptake values and correlated with final therapy outcome following completion of the anticipated therapy cycle. Patients were followed up for at least 6 months. All metastases responding to therapy (n = 6) exerted a statistically significant decrease of FDG uptake (-22+/-10%), metastases (n = 2) showing a short-term effect (duration of tumor reduction <3 months) had a slightly diminished, and progressing metastases (n = 3) an enhanced FDG uptake (13+/-17%). Our preliminary data indicate that acute changes of glucose utilization-as detected by FDG-PET-following a single application of chemotherapy, seems to be indicative for the final therapeutic outcome, at least in liver metastases of colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / administration & dosage
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Leucovorin / administration & dosage
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / administration & dosage
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Leucovorin
  • Fluorouracil