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68 Ga-Fibroblast Activation Protein Inhibitor PET/CT Improves Detection of Intermediate and Low-Grade Sarcomas and Identifies Candidates for Radiopharmaceutical Therapy.

Fibroblast activation protein-α (FAP) is often highly expressed by sarcoma cells and by sarcoma-associated fibroblasts in the tumor microenvironment. This makes it a promising target for imaging and therapy. The level of FAP expression and the diagnostic value of 68 Ga-FAP inhibitor (FAPI) PET for sarcoma subtypes are unknown. We assessed the diagnostic performance and accuracy of 68 Ga-FAPI PET in various bone and soft-tissue sarcomas. Potential eligibility for FAP-targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy (FAP-RPT) was evaluated. Methods: This prospective observational trial enrolled 200 patients with bone and soft-tissue sarcoma who underwent 68 Ga-FAPI PET/CT and 18 F-FDG PET/CT (186/200, or 93%) for staging or restaging. The number of lesions detected and the uptake (SUVmax ) of the primary tumor, lymph nodes, and visceral and bone metastases were analyzed. The Wilcoxon test was used for semiquantitative assessment. The association of 68 Ga-FAPI uptake intensity, histopathologic grade, and FAP expression in sarcoma biopsy samples was analyzed using Spearman r correlation. The impact of 68 Ga-FAPI PET on clinical management was investigated using questionnaires before and after PET/CT. Eligibility for FAP-RPT was defined by an SUVmax greater than 10 for all tumor regions. Results: 68 Ga-FAPI uptake was heterogeneous among sarcoma subtypes. The 3 sarcoma entities with the highest uptake (mean SUVmax ± SD) were solitary fibrous tumor (24.7 ± 11.9), undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (18.8 ± 13.1), and leiomyosarcoma (15.2 ± 10.2). Uptake of 68 Ga-FAPI versus 18 F-FDG was significantly higher in low-grade sarcomas (10.4 ± 8.5 vs. 7.0 ± 4.5, P = 0.01) and in potentially malignant intermediate or unpredictable sarcomas without a World Health Organization grade (not applicable [NA]; 22.3 ± 12.5 vs. 8.5 ± 10.0, P = 0.0004), including solitary fibrous tumor. The accuracy, as well as the detection rates, of 68 Ga-FAPI was higher than that of 18 F-FDG in low-grade sarcomas (accuracy, 92.2 vs. 80.0) and NA sarcomas (accuracy, 96.9 vs. 81.9). 68 Ga-FAPI uptake and the histopathologic FAP expression score ( n = 89) were moderately correlated (Spearman r = 0.43, P < 0.0002). Of 138 patients, 62 (45%) with metastatic sarcoma were eligible for FAP-RPT. Conclusion: In patients with low-grade and NA sarcomas, 68 Ga-FAPI PET demonstrates uptake, detection rates, and accuracy superior to those of 18 F-FDG PET. 68 Ga-FAPI PET criteria identified eligibility for FAP-RPT in about half of sarcoma patients.

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