Prediction of prognosis using standardized uptake value of 2-[(18)F] fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography for nasopharyngeal carcinomas

Radiother Oncol. 2008 May;87(2):211-6. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Jan 30.


Purpose: To evaluate the prognostic significance of 2-[F-18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography ([(18)F]FDG-PET) at diagnosis by calculating maximal standard uptake values (SUV(max)) in patients with non-disseminated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) receiving concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (CCRT).

Materials and methods: [(18)F]FDG-PET was performed in 41 patients with non-disseminated NPC scheduled to undergo platinum-based CCRT. [(18)F]FDG uptake by primary tumors and neck nodes was measured with the SUV(max).

Results: Complete response occurred in all 41 patients. The ten patients who presented with any component of treatment failure had a significantly higher SUV(max) than the remaining patients. The median SUV(max) of all patients was 6.48 (range: 2.31-26.07). Patients having tumors with high [(18)F]FDG uptake (median or greater) had a significantly lower 3-year disease free survival (DFS) rate than patients with lower tumor [(18)F]FDG uptake (less than median) (51% vs 91%, P=0.0070). Patients with an SUV(max) below 8 had a higher DFS than patients with an SUV(max) of 8 or greater.

Conclusion: [(18)F]FDG uptake, as measured by the SUV(max), may predict DFS in CCRT-treated NPC. High [(18)F]FDG uptake may be useful for identifying patients requiring more aggressive treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiopharmaceuticals* / pharmacokinetics
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18