68 Ga-fibroblast activation protein inhibitor PET/CT on gross tumour volume delineation for radiotherapy planning of oesophageal cancer

Radiother Oncol. 2021 May;158:55-61. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2021.02.015. Epub 2021 Feb 20.


Background and purpose: To compare 68Ga-fibroblast activation protein inhibitor (FAPI) and 18F-FDG PET/CT in imaging locally advanced oesophageal cancer, and evaluate the potential usefulness of 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT on gross target volume (GTV) delineation aimed at radiotherapy planning for oesophageal cancer as compared with contrast-enhanced CT (CE-CT) and 18F-FDG PET/CT.

Materials and methods: Twenty-one patients with newly diagnosed oesophageal cancer who underwent both 18F-FDG and 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT scans were selected. GTVs of the primary tumours based on CE-CT (GTVCT), PET/CT, and CE-CT plus PET/CT were delineated. Gross tumour lengths were measured by GTVs and endoscopy and recorded.

Results: The 68Ga-FAPI PET showed significantly higher radiotracer uptake than 18F-FDG PET (median SUVmax 16.71 vs. 11.23; P = 0.002) in the primary tumours. SUV thresholds of FAPI ×20%, 30%, 40%, and FDG ×40% showed similar lesion lengths compared with that in endoscopic examination (P > 0.05). GTVCT demonstrated the largest volume (median: 48.80 mm3, range: 14.83-162.23 mm3) than PET-based GTVs. For PET/CT-guided complementary contouring of GTVCT, four patients (19%) were increased by FAPI ×20% and 30%, two patients (9.5%) were increased by FAPI ×40%, and only one patient was increased by FDG ×40%. Furthermore, the volume of GTV based on CE-CT plus FAPI ×20%, 30%, and 40% showed no significant difference with GTVCT and planning target volume based CE-CT plus FAPI-PET and meets the organ at risk standard.

Conclusion: The 68Ga-FAPI PET/CT methodology showed favourable tumour-to-background contrast in oesophageal cancer and might provide additional information for target volume delineation and help avoid tumour geographic misses.

Keywords: (18)F-FDG; (68)Ga-FAPI; Gross target volume; Oesophageal cancer; PET/CT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophageal Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Fibroblasts
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Humans
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Tumor Burden


  • Gallium Radioisotopes
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18