FDG PET studies during treatment: prediction of therapy outcome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Head Neck. 2002 Feb;24(2):127-35. doi: 10.1002/hed.10037.


Background: Positron emission tomography (PET) provides metabolic information of tissues in vivo. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of PET with 2-[(18) F] fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) in prediction of therapy outcome (tumor response, survival, and locoregional control) in locally advanced HNSCC.

Methods: Between 1993 and 1999 47 patients underwent PET before (PET(1)) and after (PET(2)) 1 to 3 weeks of radical treatment with evaluation of metabolic rate (MR) and standardized uptake value (SUV) of FDG. All patients received radiotherapy, and 10 also received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Median follow-up time was 3.3 years.

Results: Low and high MR FDG at PET(2), with median value as cutoff, was associated with complete remission in 96% and 62% (p =.007), with 5-year overall survival in 72% and 35% (p =.0042) and with local control in 96% and 55% (p =.002), respectively.

Conclusions: FDG PET in the early phase of treatment of HNSCC is associated with tumor response, survival, and local control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / pharmacokinetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18