Clinical applications of positron emission tomography in sarcoma management

E. Quak, A. van de Luijtgaarden, L. de Geus-Oei, W. van der Graaf and W. Oyen

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Internal Postal Code 444, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Feb, 2011



Positron emission tomography (PET) with the fluorine-18-labeled glucose analog FDG is a technique that noninvasively visualizes glucose metabolism in the human body. In oncology, the addition of FDG-PET to the conventional anatomical imaging techniques provides very useful clinical information in diagnosis, staging, treatment response monitoring and follow-up. In the heterogeneous group of patients with sarcoma, FDG-PET has been shown to be of great value in improving patient care. In this article we will discuss the current role of FDG-PET in the management of patients with sarcoma and its value in assessing tumor grade, guiding biopsy, staging, monitoring treatment response, restaging and prognostication. Our future expectation is that the value of PET will only augment owing to the implementation of FDG-PET in clinical guidelines, the increasing availability worldwide, and the development of new tracers and new hybrid imaging techniques.