Practical integration of [18F]-FDG-PET and PET-CT in the planning of radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): the technical basis, ICRU-target volumes, problems, perspectives

Ursula Nestle, Stephanie Kremp, Anca-Ligia Grosu
Radiotherapy and Oncology 2006, 81 (2): 209-25
The value of positron emission tomography using [18F]-fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG-PET) for pretherapeutic evaluation of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is beyond doubt. Due to the increasing availability of PET and PET-CT scanners the method is now widely available, and its technical integration has become possible for radiotherapy planning systems. Due to the depiction of malignant tissue with high diagnostic accuracy, the use of FDG-PET in radiotherapy planning of NSCLC is very promising. However, by uncritical application, PET could impair rather than improve the prognosis of patients. Therefore, in the present paper we give an overview of technical factors influencing PET and PET-CT data, and their consequences for radiotherapy planning. We further review the relevant literature concerning the diagnostic value of FDG-PET and on the integration of FDG-PET data in RT planning for NSCLC. We point out the possible impact in gross tumor volume (GTV) definition and describe methods of target volume contouring of the primary tumor, as well as concepts for the integration of diagnostic information on lymph node involvement into the clinical target volume (CTV), and the possible implications of PET data on the definition of the planning target volume (PTV). Finally, we give an idea of the possible future use of tracers other than [18F]-FDG in lung cancer.

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