We investigated whether 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) and carbon-11 methionine are suitable tracers to monitor the effects of therapy for low-grade gliomas. Ten patients with low-grade glioma without previous treatment were studied with FDG positron emission tomography. Additionally, l-[methyl-11C]methionine uptake was measured in five subjects before and 1 year after computerized tomography (CT)-guided stereotactic and computer-assisted implantation of iodine-125 seeds. All scans were 3D-matched to CT, isodose volumes were determined, and changes in glucose metabolism and methionine uptake were evaluated in tumour and brain tissue as a function of radiation dose. After 1 year glucose metabolism was not significantly altered up to a radiation dose of 300 Gy, whereas methionine uptake showed a significant dose-dependent decrease. Higher rates of decline were found in tumours with high basal methionine incorporation activity before therapy. These data suggest that measurement of methionine uptake is more suitable than measurement of FDG uptake for monitoring therapeutic effects in low-grade gliomas.