Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Cancer and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Is [F-18]-fluorodeoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography of value in the management of patients with craniofacial bone sarcomas undergoing neo-adjuvant treatment?

Anna Maria Frezza12, Tim Beale1, Jamshed Bomanji1, Amrita Jay1, Nicholas Kalavrezos1, Palma Dileo1, Jeremy Whelan1 and Sandra J Strauss13*

Author Affiliations

1 The London Sarcoma Service, University College London Hospital, London, England

2 Department of Medical Oncology, University Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy

3 UCL Cancer Institute, Paul O’Gorman Building, 72 Huntley Street, London WC1E 6BT, England

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2014, 14:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-23

Published: 15 January 2014



We evaluated the role of 18FDG PET/CT used to assess response to preoperative chemotherapy in patients with primary craniofacial bone sarcomas.


Fourteen patients with craniofacial bone sarcomas (13 osteosarcoma, 1 spindle cell sarcoma) were retrospectively evaluated. All patients received up to 6 cycles of preoperative chemotherapy followed by resection of the primary tumour. Response to treatment was assessed using MRI (RECIST criteria) and 18FDG PET/CT (EORTC guidelines), performed at least at baseline, after 2-4 cycles and pre-operatively.


The median baseline 18FDG PET/CT SUV was 10.2 (range 0-41); in 2 patients no uptake was detected. The preoperative 18FDG PET/CT, compared with the baseline, demonstrated a partial metabolic response in 7 patients (59%), complete metabolic response in 2 (16%) and stable metabolic disease in 3 (25%). In contrast, only two patients achieved a RECIST response on MRI: 10 (83%) had stable disease. One patient underwent early resection due to clinical progression after an initial response to treatment. This was confirmed by PET (SUV from 21 to 42) but not on MRI. Twelve of 14 patients (86%) had <90% histological necrosis in the resected tumour. At a median follow-up 23 months, 11 patients (79%) remain disease free, two had metastatic progression (14%) and 1 a local relapse (7%). The median DFS was 17 months. For those patients who achieved a response to preoperative 18FDG PET/CT the median DFS was 19 months (range: 1-66) compared with 3 months (range: 3-13) in those who did not (p = 0.01). In contrast, the median disease free survival (DFS) did not differ according to histological response (19 versus 17 months, >90% versus <90% necrosis, p = 0.45) or resection margins (19 months for R0 versus 18 months for R1, p = 0.2).


18FDG PET/CT is more reliable than standard imaging in evaluating response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in craniofacial bone sarcomas, changed management in one patient, and in this small series, correlated better with patient outcome than histological response and resection margins. These results warrant prospective validation in a larger cohort of patients.

18FDG PET/CT; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Craniofacial bone sarcoma