[18F]FLT-PET in oncology: current status and opportunities

  • Lukas B. Been
  • Albert J. H. Suurmeijer
  • David C. P. Cobben
  • Pieter L. Jager
  • Harald J. Hoekstra
  • Philip H. Elsinga
Review Article


In recent years, [18F]-fluoro-3′-deoxy-3′-L-fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT) has been developed as a proliferation tracer. Imaging and measurement of proliferation with PET could provide us with a non-invasive staging tool and a tool to monitor the response to anticancer treatment. In this review, the basis of [18F]FLT as a proliferation tracer is discussed. Furthermore, an overview of the current status of [18F]FLT-PET research is given. The results of this research show that although [18F]FLT is a tracer that visualises cellular proliferation, it also has certain limitations. In comparison with the most widely used PET tracer, [18F]FDG, [18F]FLT uptake is lower in most cases. Furthermore, [18F]FLT uptake does not always reflect the tumour cell proliferation rate, for example during or shortly after certain chemotherapy regimens. The opportunities provided by, and the limitations of, [18F]FLT as a proliferation tracer are addressed in this review, and directions are given for further research, taking into account the strong and weak points of the new tracer.


Positron emission tomography [18F]FLT Oncology Proliferation Review 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lukas B. Been
    • 1
  • Albert J. H. Suurmeijer
    • 3
  • David C. P. Cobben
    • 2
  • Pieter L. Jager
    • 1
  • Harald J. Hoekstra
    • 2
  • Philip H. Elsinga
    • 1
  1. 1.PET CenterGroningen University HospitalGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Surgical OncologyGroningen University HospitalGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineGroningen University HospitalGroningenThe Netherlands

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