Metabolic response evaluation by PET during neoadjuvant treatment for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction

Recent Results Cancer Res. 2010:182:167-77. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-70579-6_14.


Following several randomized trials, neoadjuvant therapy in adenocarcinoma of esophagus and the esophagogastric junction can be seen as an international standard. However, in a large proportion of patients the objective response achieved is unsatisfactory. These patients do not benefit from neoadjuvant therapy, but do suffer from toxic side effects; sometimes progressive and appropriate surgical therapy is delayed. For this reason, a diagnostic test that can accurately assess tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy might be of crucial importance. Response evaluation using CT scan, endoluminal ultrasound, or rebiopsy is not reliable. In recent times, response evaluation using 18FGD PET after and during neoadjuvant treatment is in the focus of clinical and scientific interest. Most studies have evaluated the diagnostic modalities for response to neoadjuvant treatment after completion of the treatment. Following the published data so far, FDG-PET seems to be less accurate after and during chemoradiation than after chemotherapy alone. The data of early response evaluation (14 days after the onset of chemotherapy) are very much encouraging; however, they have to be evaluated in an international randomized trial. Standardization of PET technology as well as defining the thresholds used for the estimation of early response is mandatory. So far, FDG-PET does not change treatment in esophageal and gastric cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Endosonography
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Esophagogastric Junction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18