Tumor Burden Assessment with Positron Emission Tomography with

Clin Positron Imaging. 2000 Mar;3(2):57-65. doi: 10.1016/s1095-0397(00)00041-8.


Objective: In patients with advanced cancer, total tumor burden affects the likelihood of tumor response and has important implications for prognosis. The aim of this study was to select the optimum 2-[F-18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography (FDG PET) tumor uptake parameter to accurately measure tumor burden in advanced metastatic renal cell cancer, in comparison with volumes measured with computed tomography (CT), as a reference test.Materials and Methods: Six patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma measurable on CT were studied. CT and FDG PET scans were carried out on all patients within 4 weeks prior to their entry into a phase I-II radioimmunotherapy trial. CT-based evaluation of disease extent (tumor volume) and 4 PET-based measurements (standardized uptake value[SUVmax], SUVav, volume, and total lesion glycolysis [TLG]) were performed independently by a radiologist (VN) and a nuclear medicine physician (TA). The degree of correlation between conventional (CT) extent of disease and parameters describing tumor concentration of FDG was then determined.Results: Fifty-seven CT-measurable metastatic lesions in lung, abdomen, and scalp were evaluated in 6 patients. There was a high correlation between CT and FDG PET volume estimates for lesions greater than 5 cm(3) in size. However, a PET-derived parameter that embodies both FDG uptake and lesion size, the TLG, correlated better with CT-derived tumor volume than did FDG PET volume alone.Conclusion: Using CT volume as a gold standard, the optimal PET-based estimate of total tumor burden in patients with metastatic renal cancer is the sum over all lesions of the total lesion glycolysis.