Correlation of angiogenesis with 18F-FMT and 18F-FDG uptake in non-small cell lung cancer

Cancer Sci. 2009 Apr;100(4):753-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2008.01077.x. Epub 2009 Jan 12.


L-[3-18F]-alpha-methyltyrosine (18F-FMT) is an amino-acid tracer for positron-emission tomography (PET). We have conducted a clinicopathologic study to elucidate the correlation of angiogenesis with 18F-FMT and 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) uptake in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Thirty-seven NSCLC patients were enrolled in this study, and two PET studies with 18F-FMT and 18F-FDG were performed. Uptake of PET tracers was evaluated with standardized uptake value. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), CD31, CD34, L-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1) and Ki-67 labeling index of the resected tumors were analyzed by immunohistochemical staining, and correlated with the clinicopathologic variables and the uptake of PET tracers. The median VEGF rate was 45% (range, 10-78%). High expression was seen in 30 patients (81%, 30/37). VEGF expression was statistically associated with progressively growing microvessel count. VEGF showed a correlation with LAT1 expression (P = 0.04) and Ki-67 labeling index (P = 0.01). However, it showed no correlation with age, gender, disease stage, tumor size, and histology. Microvessel density (MVD) showed no correlation with any parameters. 18F-FMT and 18F-FDG uptake correlated significantly with VEGF (P < 0.0001, P = 0.026, respectively), whereas the correlation of 18F-FMT and VEGF was more meaningful. The present study demonstrated that the metabolic activity of primary tumors as evaluated by PET study with 18F-FMT and 18F-FDG is related to tumor angiogenesis and the proliferative activity in NSCLC.

Trial registration: NCT00671242.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Large Neutral Amino Acid-Transporter 1 / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Microvessels / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnosis
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / metabolism
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Thoracotomy
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism
  • alpha-Methyltyrosine*


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Large Neutral Amino Acid-Transporter 1
  • Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • alpha-Methyltyrosine

Associated data