Prognostic value of thoracic FDG PET imaging after treatment for non-small cell lung cancer

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000 Mar;174(3):769-74. doi: 10.2214/ajr.174.3.1740769.


Objective: We determined the prognostic value of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) for patients with treated lung cancer.

Materials and methods: We examined patients who underwent FDG PET after first-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. FDG PET results were correlated with survival rates to determine whether FDG PET findings were predictive of outcomes.

Results: After initial therapy, 113 patients with non-small cell lung cancer underwent FDG PET. One hundred patients had positive FDG PET results and a median survival of 12 months (95% confidence interval, 9.2-15.4). Thirteen patients had negative FDG PET results, and 11 (85%) of these patients are still living at a median follow-up of 34 months. The difference in survival for patients with positive and negative FDG PET results was statistically significant (p = 0.002).

Conclusion: FDG PET has prognostic value and strongly correlates with survival rates of patients with treated lung cancer. Patients with positive FDG PET results have a significantly worse prognosis than patients with negative results. Additionally, FDG PET may be helpful in guiding therapeutic treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18