Measuring tumor cell proliferation with 18F-FLT PET during radiotherapy of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a pilot clinical study.


Journal Article

UNLABELLED: The primary aim of this study was to use serial (18)F-3'-deoxy-3'-fluorothymidine (FLT) PET/CT to measure tumor cell proliferation during radiotherapy of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the esophagus. METHODS: Twenty-one patients with inoperable locally advanced SCC of the esophagus underwent serial (18)F-FLT PET/CT during radiotherapy. Each patient received a pretreatment scan, followed by 1-3 scans after delivery of 2, 6, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 Gy to the tumor. RESULTS: Among the 19 patients who completed radiotherapy without interruption, parameters reflecting (18)F-FLT uptake in the tumor (i.e., maximum tumor standardized uptake value [SUVmax] and proliferation target volume) decreased steadily. All patients demonstrated an almost complete absence of proliferating esophageal tumor after 30 Gy and a complete absence after 40 Gy. In the 2 patients whose radiotherapy course was interrupted, (18)F-FLT uptake in the tumor was greater after the interruption than before the interruption. Marked early reduction of (18)F-FLT uptake in irradiated bone marrow was observed in all patients, even after only 2 Gy. All showed a complete absence of proliferating marrow in irradiated regions after 10 Gy. Both patients who underwent scans after completing the entire radiotherapy course showed no tumor uptake on (18)F-FLT PET/CT but high uptake on (18)F-FDG PET/CT. Pathologic examination of these regions revealed inflammatory infiltrates but no residual tumor. CONCLUSION: (18)F-FLT uptake can be used to monitor the biologic response of esophageal SCC and normal tissue to radiotherapy. Increased uptake of (18)F-FLT after treatment interruptions may reflect accelerated repopulation. (18)F-FLT PET/CT may have an advantage over (18)F-FDG PET/CT in differentiating inflammation from tumor.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Yue, J; Chen, L; Cabrera, AR; Sun, X; Zhao, S; Zheng, F; Han, A; Zheng, J; Teng, X; Ma, L; Ma, Y; Han, D; Zhao, X; Mu, D; Yu, J; Li, Y

Published Date

  • April 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 51 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 528 - 534

PubMed ID

  • 20237030

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20237030

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1535-5667

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2967/jnumed.109.072124


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States