Background: The aim of this study was to explore the association between 2-deoxy-2-F18-fluoro-D-glucose uptake and the expressions of glucose transporter type 1 (GLUT-1) and hexokinase II (HK-II) in the lymph nodes of patients with cervical cancer.
Methods: This prospective study included 20 women with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IB to stage IIA cervical cancer who underwent positron emission tomography (PET)–computed tomography (CT) (PET/CT) before surgical treatment. In 333 dissected lymph nodes (LNs) obtained, we examined the size, tumor involvement, and expressions of GLUT-1 and HK-II. These characteristics were compared with PET/CT and pathological findings.
Results: Pathological analysis found that 21% (70) of the 333 surgically dissected LNs were metastatic. Positron emission tomography/CT detected metastasis with 22.8% sensitivity and 98.5% specificity. The levels of GLUT-1 and HK-II expression in false-positive LNs were higher than those in pathologically confirmed negative nodes (P = 0.015 and P = 0.001, respectively). In metastatic LNs, PET/CT-positive nodes were significantly different from PET/CT-negative nodes in mean size (P = 0.043), tumor involvement (P = 0.008), and proportion of GLUT-1–positive tumor cells (P = 0.042).
Conclusions: Our results indicate that overexpression of GLUT-1 and HK-II may be related to 2-deoxy-2-F18-fluoro-D-glucose uptake in false-positive tissues on PET/CT. In metastatic lymph nodes, the ability of PET/CT to detect cancer may depend on tumor involvement, lymph node size, and GLUT-1 expression.