Predictive and prognostic value of metabolic tumour volume and total lesion glycolysis in solid tumours

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2013 Jan;40(2):290-301. doi: 10.1007/s00259-012-2280-z. Epub 2012 Nov 14.


Data available in patients suffering from squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, lung carcinoma, oesophageal carcinoma and gynaecological malignancies suggest that metabolic tumour volume and to a lesser extent total lesion glycolysis have the potential to become valuable in the imaging of human solid tumours as prognostic biomarkers for short- to intermediate-term survival outcomes, adding value to clinical staging, for assessment of response to treatment with neoadjuvant and concurrent chemotherapy, and for treatment optimization; for example, based on early treatment response assessment using changes in metabolic tumour volume over time, it might be possible to select patients who require a more aggressive treatment to improve their outcome. Prospective studies enrolling consecutive patients, adopting standardized protocols for FDG PET acquisition and processing, adjusting for potential confounders in the analysis (tumour size and origin) and determining the optimal methodology for determination of these novel markers are mandatory.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / metabolism
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacology
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnosis
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / metabolism
  • Glycolysis / physiology*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18