Positron emission tomography with 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose in oncology. Part IIIb: Therapy response monitoring in colorectal and lung tumours, head and neck cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and sarcoma

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2001 May;127(5):278-85. doi: 10.1007/s004320000208.


Positron emission tomography (PET) using 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is considered to be a very useful adjunct to anatomic imaging techniques and is now primarily used for oncological indications. These indications include diagnosis, staging, and therapy monitoring. In this review, we discuss the articles in which FDG-PET is clinically used for monitoring therapy in lung and colorectal tumours, head and neck cancer, sarcoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is found that the amount of FDG uptake strongly correlates with response to therapy: a decrease in FDG uptake after therapy indicates a positive response to therapy. However, this conclusion is based on small numbers of patients, whereas the exact response mechanism is still unknown. Moreover, in these case series, the interval between tumour therapy and FDG-PET, as well as the method of quantification, SUV or tumour-to-non-tumour ratios, differ per study. Finally, dynamic imaging is a recommended technique by some authors, but it is not a standard technique in clinical practice to evaluate tumour therapy. Therefore, further study is required which has to deal with these major issues before it is possible to draw definite conclusions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / therapy
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnostic imaging
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Sarcoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Sarcoma / therapy
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / therapy
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18