Untreated primary lung and breast cancers: correlation between F-18 FDG kinetic rate constants and findings of in vitro studies

Radiology. 1998 Jun;207(3):767-74. doi: 10.1148/radiology.207.3.9609902.


Purpose: To compare kinetic modeling of 2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (F-18 FDG) between untreated primary lung and untreated primary breast cancers by using positron emission tomographic (PET) findings and to correlate these findings with findings of in vitro studies.

Materials and methods: Nineteen patients (12 men, seven women; age range, 49-82 years) with untreated primary lung cancer and 17 women with untreated primary breast cancer (age range, 26-65 years) underwent 1-hour dynamic F-18 FDG PET. A three-compartment model was applied to F-18 FDG kinetics in tumors. The standard uptake value normalized for lean body mass (SUVlean) in tumors was measured 50-60 minutes after tracer injection. In vitro, thin-layer chromatography was performed to evaluate the intracellular phosphorylation of tritiated F-18 FDG in human lung cancer and breast cancer cell lines.

Results: At PET, lung cancer had a significantly (P < .003) higher rate constant for F-18 FDG phosphorylation (k3) and SUVlean than did breast cancer (0.164 +/- 0.150 [standard deviation] vs 0.043 +/- 0.018 and 8.25 +/- 3.28 vs 3.17 +/- 1.08, respectively). Breast cancer showed a significant correlation between k3 and SUVlean (r = .607, P < .01), although no such correlation was observed in lung cancer. In vitro studies showed phosphorylation of F-18 FDG in breast cancer cells was less complete in hyperglycemia than it was in lung cancer cells.

Conclusion: A much lower k3 appears to be a rate-limiting factor for F-18 FDG accumulation in breast cancer, while the higher k3 in lung cancer is probably not rate limiting for F-18 FDG accumulation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biological Transport
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphorylation
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / statistics & numerical data
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18