Initial evaluation of 18F-fluorothymidine (FLT) PET/CT scanning for primary pancreatic cancer

  • A. QuonEmail author
  • S. T. Chang
  • F. Chin
  • A. Kamaya
  • D. W. Dick
  • B. W. LooJr.
  • S. S. Gambhir
  • A. C. Koong
Short Communication



The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of 18F-fluorothymidine (FLT) PET/CT for imaging pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


This was a pilot study of five patients (four males, one female) with newly diagnosed and previously untreated pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Patients underwent FLT PET/CT, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT, and contrast-enhanced CT scanning before treatment. The presence of cancer was confirmed by histopathological analysis at the time of scanning in all five patients. The degree of FLT and FDG uptake at the primary tumor site was assessed using visual interpretation and semi-quantitative SUV analyses.


The primary tumor size ranged from 2.5×2.8 cm to 3.5 × 7.0 cm. The SUV of FLT uptake within the primary tumor ranged from 2.1 to 3.1. Using visual interpretation, the primary cancer could be detected from background activity in two of five patients (40%) on FLT PET/CT. By comparison, FDG uptake was higher in each patient with a SUV range of 3.4 to 10.8, and the primary cancer could be detected from background in all five patients (100%).


In this pilot study of five patients with primary pancreatic adenocarcinoma, FLT PET/CT scanning showed poor lesion detectability and relatively low levels of radiotracer uptake in the primary tumor.


FLT PET FDG PET PET/CT Pancreatic cancer Oncology 



Manuscript editor: I. Ross McDougall, Andrei H. Iagaru; radiotracer synthesis: Murugesan Subbarayan.

The study was funded in part by The Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Quon
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. T. Chang
    • 2
  • F. Chin
    • 1
  • A. Kamaya
    • 1
  • D. W. Dick
    • 1
  • B. W. LooJr.
    • 2
  • S. S. Gambhir
    • 1
  • A. C. Koong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS)Stanford University Medical CenterStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyStanford University Medical CenterStanfordUSA

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