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Evaluation of Chemotherapy Response in Primary Bone Tumors with F-18 FDG Positron Emission Tomography Compared with Histologically Assessed Tumor Necrosis


Original Articles

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of positron emission tomography using F-18-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG PET) to assess the chemotherapy response of primary osseous tumors compared with the degree of necrosis determined histologically.

Patients and Methods: Seventeen patients with primary bone tumors (11 osteosarcomas, 6 Ewing’s sarcomas) were examined using FDG PET and planar bone scintigraphy before neoadjuvant chemotherapy and before surgery. Tumor response was classified histologically according to Salzer-Kuntschik (grades I–III: good response; grades IV–VI: poor response). In both imaging methods, quantification was performed using tumor to nontumor ratios (T:NT).

Results: Histologically, 15 patients were classified as having good responses (grade I, n = 1; grade II, n = 6; grade III, n = 8) and two as having poor responses (grades IV and V). FDG PET showed more than a 30% decrease in T:NT ratios in all patients who had good responses. However, three of these patients had increasing bone scintigraphy T:NT ratios, and another five had decreasing ratios of less than 30%. The patients with poor responses had increasing T:NT ratios and decreasing ratios of less than 30%, respectively, using both imaging methods.

Conclusions: FDG PET seems to be a promising tool for evaluating the response of primary osseous tumors to chemotherapy. In this preliminary study, FDG PET was superior to planar bone scintigraphy.

From the Department of Nuclear Medicine,* Gerhard-Domagk Institute of Pathology,† and Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology,‡ University Hospital, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster, Germany

Received for publication March 27, 2000.

Accepted May 29, 2000.

Reprint requests: Dr. Christiane Franzius, Klinik und Poliklinik für Nuklearmedizin, Universität Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 33, 48149 Münster, Germany. E-mail:

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.