Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the evaluation of germ cell tumours at relapse

Br J Cancer. 2000 Oct;83(7):863-9. doi: 10.1054/bjoc.2000.1389.


Differentiation of active disease from fibrosis/mature teratoma in patients with residual masses or identifying of sites of recurrence in patients with raised markers following treatment of their testicular cancer remains a problem.(18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) has the potential to identify active disease and thereby influence further management in these patients. We performed a retrospective study of the use of FDG-PET in detecting residual/recurrent testicular carcinoma in 55 patients (seventy FDG-PET scans). Forty-seven scans were for the assessment of residual masses (18 had raised markers) and 23 scans were for the investigation of raised markers in the presence of normal CT scans. True positive results were based on positive histology or clinical follow-up. FDG-PET had a positive predictive value (PPV) of 96% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 90% in patients with residual masses. This PPV was equivalent to that of markers (94%) but FDG-PET had the advantage of identifying the site of that recurrence. The NPV was higher than that of markers. In patients with raised markers alone the PPV of FDG-PET was 92% but the NPV was only 50%. However, subsequent FDG-PET imaging was frequently the first imaging modality to identify the site of disease. FDG-PET effected a management change in 57% of cases. FDG-PET scanning detected viable tumour in residual masses and identified sites of disease in suspected recurrence.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human / blood
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Germinoma / blood
  • Germinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Germinoma / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / blood
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seminoma / blood
  • Seminoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Seminoma / metabolism
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Teratoma / blood
  • Teratoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Teratoma / metabolism
  • Testicular Neoplasms / blood
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18