The role of positron emission tomography in management of small cell lung cancer

Lung Cancer. 2011 Aug;73(2):121-6. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.03.013. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Accurate radiological staging of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is of paramount importance in selection of individual patients with limited stage disease for potentially curative treatment while avoiding toxic treatment in those with distant metastatic disease. [(18)F] flurodeoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is an attractive tool for this purpose but there is limited evidence to support its use in the routine staging of SCLC. Whether therapeutic decisions based on FDG-PET imaging should be made remains uncertain. There is only preliminary evidence for use of FDG-PET as a prognostic biomarker, in the assessment of response to treatment and delineation of disease in conformal radiation planning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prognosis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Pharmacological
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18