In a retrospective analysis of patients with sarcoma who underwent fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) imaging, tumor maximum FDG uptake was analyzed for ability to predict patient survival and disease-free interval. Two hundred and nine patients with sarcoma were imaged prior to treatment with neoadjuvant chemotherapy or resection. Tumor FDG uptake expressed as maximum standard uptake value (SUV(max)) was compared with disease-free and overall survival. A multivariate Cox regression analysis was applied to examine the role of SUV(max) in predicting time to death or disease progression, after adjusting for standard clinical prognostic factors. The multivariate analyses showed that the SUV(max) information is a statistically significant independent predictor of patient survival. Tumors with larger SUV(max) have a significantly poorer prognosis. This retrospective analysis indicates that the sarcoma tumor SUV(max) value determined by PET is an independent predictor of survival and disease progression.