King's College London

Research portal

Impact of [18 F]FDG-PET and [18 F]FLT-PET-parameters in patients with suspected relapse of irradiated lung cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Tine N. Christensen, Seppo W. Langer, Gitte Persson, Klaus Richter Larsen, Annemarie G. Amtoft, Sune H. Keller, Andreas Kjaer, Barbara Malene Fischer

Original languageEnglish
Article number279
Issue number2
PublishedFeb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Funding: This project received funding from the Danish Cancer Society (grant no. R134-A8543-15-S42) and Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine and PET, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Radiation-induced changes may cause a non-malignant high 2-deoxy-2-[18 F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG)-uptake. The 3-deoxy-3-[18 F]fluorothymidine (FLT)-PET/CT performs better in the differential diagnosis of inflammatory changes and lung lesions with a higher specificity than FDG-PET/CT. We investigated the association between post-radiotherapy FDG-PET-parameters, FLT-PET-parameters, and outcome. Sixty-one patients suspected for having a relapse after definitive radiotherapy for lung cancer were included. All the patients had FDG-PET/CT and FLT-PET/CT. FDG-PET-and FLT-PET-parameters were collected from within the irradiated high-dose volume (HDV) and from recurrent pulmonary lesions. For associations between PET-parameters and relapse status, respectively, the overall survival was analyzed. Thirty patients had a relapse, of these, 16 patients had a relapse within the HDV. FDG-SUVmax and FLT-SUVmax were higher in relapsed HDVs compared with non-relapsed HDVs (median FDG-SUVmax: 12.8 vs. 4.2; p < 0.001; median FLT-SUVmax 3.9 vs. 2.2; p < 0.001). A relapse within HDV had higher FDG-SUVpeak (median FDG-SUVpeak: 7.1 vs. 3.5; p = 0.014) and was larger (median metabolic tumor volume (MTV50%): 2.5 vs. 0.7; 0.014) than the relapsed lesions outside of HDV. The proliferative tumor volume (PTV50%) was prognostic for the overall survival (hazard ratio: 1.07 pr cm3 [1.01–1.13]; p = 0.014) in the univariate analysis, but not in the multivariate analysis. FDG-SUVmax and FLT-SUVmax may be helpful tools for differentiating the relapse from radiation-induced changes, however, they should not be used definitively for relapse detection.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454