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[18F] fluoromisonidazole and [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in response evaluation after chemo-/radiotherapy of non-small-cell lung cancer: a feasibility study

Bernd Gagel1*, Patrick Reinartz2, Cengiz Demirel1, Hans J Kaiser2, Michael Zimny2, Marc Piroth1, Michael Pinkawa1, Sven Stanzel3, Branka Asadpour1, Kurt Hamacher4, Heinz H Coenen4, Ulrich Buell2 and Michael J Eble1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiotherapy, University of Aachen, Germany

2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Aachen, Germany

3 Institute of Medical Statistics, University of Aachen, Germany

4 Institute of Nuclear Chemistry, Research Center Juelich, Germany

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:51  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-51

Published: 4 March 2006



Experimental and clinical evidence suggest that hypoxia in solid tumours reduces their sensitivity to conventional treatment modalities modulating response to ionizing radiation or chemotherapeutic agents. The aim of the present study was to show the feasibility of determining radiotherapeutically relevant hypoxia and early tumour response by ([18F] Fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) and [18F]-2-fluoro-2'-deoxyglucose (FDG) PET.


Eight patients with non-small-cell lung cancer underwent PET scans. Tumour tissue oxygenation was measured with FMISO PET, whereas tumour glucose metabolism was measured with FDG PET. All PET studies were carried out with an ECAT EXACT 922/47® scanner with an axial field of view of 16.2 cm. FMISO PET consisted of one static scan of the relevant region, performed 180 min after intravenous administration of the tracer. The acquisition and reconstruction parameters were as follows: 30 min emission scanning and 4 min transmission scanning with 68-Ge/68-Ga rod sources. The patients were treated with chemotherapy, consisting of 2 cycles of gemcitabine (1200 mg/m2) and vinorelbine (30 mg/m2) followed by concurrent radio- (2.0 Gy/d; total dose 66.0 Gy) and chemotherapy with gemcitabine (300–500 mg/m2) every two weeks. FMISO PET and FDG PET were performed in all patients 3 days before and 14 days after finishing chemotherapy.


FMISO PET allowed for the qualitative and quantitative definition of hypoxic sub-areas which may correspond to a localization of local recurrences. In addition, changes in FMISO and FDG PET measure the early response to therapy, and in this way, may predict freedom from disease, as well as overall survival.


These preliminary results warrant validation in larger trials. If confirmed, several novel treatment strategies may be considered, including the early use of PET to evaluate the effectiveness of the selected therapy.