Assessment of treatment response in acute leukemia is routinely performed after therapy via bone marrow biopsy. We investigated the use of positron emission tomography (PET) for early assessment of treatment response in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), using the proliferation marker 3'-deoxy-3'-[(18)F]fluoro-l-thymidine (FLT). Eight adult AML patients receiving induction chemotherapy underwent whole-body FLT PET/CT scans acquired at different time points during therapy. Patients who entered complete remission (CR) exhibited significantly lower FLT uptake in bone marrow than those patients with resistant disease (RD). In bone marrow, mean and maximum standardized uptake values were 0.8, 3.6 for CR and 1.6, 11.4 for RD, p<0.001. FLT PET results for CR and RD patients were independent of assessment time point, suggesting that FLT PET scans acquired as early as 2 days after chemotherapy initiation may be predictive of clinical response. This pilot study suggests that FLT PET imaging during induction chemotherapy may serve as an early biomarker of treatment response in AML.
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