The study, published in the September 2003 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, included examinations of 26 patients with pulmonary nodules revealed on chest CT. Subsequent biopsies confirmed that eighteen of the patients involved had malignant tumors, and eight had benign tumors. Using standardized uptake value (SUV), tumoral uptake was calculated for both 18F-FDG PET and 18F-FLT PET.
Results revealed 18F-FLT SUV correlated better than18F-FDG SUV with the proliferation index. This confirms the theory that 18F-FLT, a tracer specifically designed to reveal the presence of malignant tumors, is better at differentiating cancerous growths from other lesions. While the results show promise for the use of 18F-FLT, they do not indicate 18F-FLT can replace 18F-FDG, which is quite accurate in staging tumors.
In his invited commentary, Anthony F. Shields, MD, PhD of Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, indicates more clinical trials are needed to further evaluate 18F-FLT, as well as other tracers that can supplement the information provided by 18F-FDG.
"Imaging Proliferation in Lung Tumors with PET: 18F-FLT vs. 18F-FDG" was written by Andreas K. Buck, MD, Holger Schirrmeister, MD, Jörg Kotzerke, MD, Gerhard Glatting, PhD, Bernd Neumaier, PhD, and Sven N. Reske, MD from the Department of Nuclear Medicine; Gisela Halter, MD and Imke Wurziger, of the Department of Thoracic Surgery; Torsten Mattfeldt, MD, of the Department of Pathology; and Martin Hetzel, MD, of the Department of Internal Medicine II, all from the University of Ulm in Ulm, Germany.
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