Imaging proliferation in vivo with [F-18]FLT and positron emission tomography

Nat Med. 1998 Nov;4(11):1334-6. doi: 10.1038/3337.


Positron emission tomography (PET) is now regularly used in the diagnosis and staging of cancer. These uses and its ability to monitor treatment response would be aided by the development of imaging agents that can be used to measure tissue and tumor proliferation. We have developed and tested [F-18]FLT (3'-deoxy-3'-fluorothymidine); it is resistant to degradation, is retained in proliferating tissues by the action of thymidine kinase 1 (TK), and produces high-contrast images of normal marrow and tumors in canine and human subjects.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Dideoxynucleosides* / pharmacokinetics
  • Dogs
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes* / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*


  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • alovudine