, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 286-296

PET and PET/CT using 18F-FDG in the diagnosis and management of cancer patients

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Positron emission tomography (PET) using 2-18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG), a radioactive derivative of glucose, is an advanced imaging tool, based on the increased glucose consumption of cancer cells. FDG-PET provides information that is not obtainable with other imaging modalities, and is very effective in the diagnosis and management of patients with various types of cancers. However, there are some limitations, such as low FDG uptake in some cancers, substantial FDG uptake in inflammatory cells, and the lack of anatomical information and poor imaging quality of PET. A recently developed integrated PET/computed tomography (CT) system, which combines a PET camera and CT scanner in a single session, has overcome these drawbacks by providing both anatomical and functional imaging at the same position. PET and/or PET/CT using FDG is clinically useful in the detection of cancer, the differentiation of malignant and benign lesions, the staging of cancer before therapy, and the assessment of cancer therapy, as well as for determining the recurrence after therapy of most cancers, including lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer, and malignant lymphoma. PET/CT has become the new standard approach to imaging in the diagnosis and management of many cancer patients.