Use of PET to monitor the response of lung cancer to radiation treatment
Approximately 170,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year. Many of these patients receive external beam radiation for treatment. Fluorine-18 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) is increasingly being used in evaluating non-small cell lung cancer and may be of clinical utility in assessing response to treatment. In this report, we present FDG PET images and data from two patients who were followed with a total of eight and seven serial FDG PET scans, respectively, through the entire course of their radiation therapy. Changes in several potential response parameters are shown versus time, including lesion volume (V(FDG)) by PET, SUVav, SUVmax, and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) during the course of radiotherapy. The response parameters for patient 1 demonstrated a progressive decrease; however, the response parameters for patient 2 showed an initial decrease followed by an increase. The data presented here may suggest that the outcome of radiation therapy can be predicted by PET imaging, but this observation requires a study of additional patients.