Purpose of review
The aim of this review is to provide an outline of current evidence for the use of F-18-fluoro-deoxy-glucose PET computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) in nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) for diagnosis, staging, radiotherapy planning, response assessment and response monitoring.
Management of patients with NSCLC requires a multimodality approach to accurately diagnose and stage patients. In this approach, FDG-PET/CT has become a standard staging instrument in lung cancer. FDG-PET/CT is, in addition to staging, also valuable for the characterization of the solitary pulmonary nodule. An increased uptake in the nodule as compared with mediastinal blood pool is suspected for malignancy. In radiotherapy planning, FDG-PET/CT can assist the radiation oncologist for optimal dose delivery to the tumour, while sparing healthy tissues. Evidence of the prognostic and predictive implications of FDG-PET/CT is accumulating. Volumetric parameters of PET, such as metabolic active tumour volume and total lesion glycolysis, are promising predictive and prognostic biomarkers. However, for implementation of metabolic response parameters in clinical practice, more randomized, PET-based, multicentre trials are necessary. The introduction of integrated PET and MRI scanners did not change the pivotal role of standard FDG-PET/CT yet, as with current technology, PET/MRI did not show superior performance in thoracic staging.
The role of PET is described for diagnosis, staging and response assessment.