Significant clinical impact and prognostic stratification provided by FDG-PET in the staging of oesophageal cancer

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2006 Jul;33(7):759-69. doi: 10.1007/s00259-005-0028-8. Epub 2006 Feb 10.


Purpose: To evaluate the clinical impact of FDG-PET in staging oesophageal cancer and whether this information improves prognostic stratification.

Methods: Impact was based on comparison of a prospectively recorded pre-PET plan with post-PET treatment in 68 consecutive patients undergoing primary staging. Survival was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier product limit method and the Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: FDG-PET findings impacted on the management of 27/68 patients (40%): in 12 therapy was changed from curative to palliative and in three from palliative to curative, while in 12 other patients there was a change in the treatment modality or delivery but not in the treatment intent. The median survival was 21 months, with post-PET stage and treatment intent both strongly associated with survival (p<0.001). Conventional stage was not able to clearly stratify this population.

Conclusion: The use of FDG-PET for primary staging of oesophageal cancer changed the clinical management of more than one-third of patients and provided superior prognostic stratification compared with conventional investigations.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Analysis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18