[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]-FDG) uptake is enhanced in most malignant tumours which in turn can be measured using positron emission tomography (PET). A number of small clinical trials have indicated that quantification of the change in tumour [18F]-FDG uptake may provide an early, sensitive, pharmacodynamic marker of the tumoricidal effect of anticancer drugs. This may allow for the introduction of subclinical response for anticancer drug evaluation in early clinical trials and improvements in patient management. For comparison of results from smaller clinical trials and larger-scale multicentre trials a consensus is desirable for: (i) common measurement criteria; and (ii) reporting of alterations in [18F]-FDG uptake with treatment. This paper summarises the current status of the technique and recommendations on the measurement of [18F]-FDG uptake for tumour response monitoring from a consensus meeting of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) PET study group held in Brussels in February 1998 and confirmed at a subsequent meeting in March 1999.