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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Feb 20;23(6):1136-43.

[18F]fluorodeoxyglucose uptake by positron emission tomography predicts outcome of non-small-cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Unit 97, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



To determine whether the standardized uptake value (SUV) of [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose uptake by positron emission tomography could be a prognostic factor for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


One hundred sixty-two patients with stage I to IIIb NSCLC were analyzed. Overall survival (OS), disease-free survival (DFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and local-regional control (LRC) were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method and evaluated with the log-rank test. The prognostic significance was assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses.


There were 93 patients treated with surgery and 69 patients treated with radiotherapy. A cutoff of 5 for the SUV for the primary tumor showed the best discriminative value. The SUV for the primary tumor was a significant predictor of OS (P = .02) in both groups. Low SUVs (</= 5.0) showed significantly better DFS rates than those with high SUVs (> 5.0; surgery group, P = .02; radiotherapy group, P = .0005). Low SUVs (</= 5.0) indicated a significantly better DFS than those with high SUVs (> 5.0; stage I or II, P = .02; stage IIIa or IIIb, P = .004). However, using the same cutoff point of 5, the SUV for regional lymph nodes was not a significant indicator for DFS (P = .19), LRC (P = .97), or DMFS (P = .17). The multivariate analysis showed that the SUV for the primary tumor was a significant prognostic factor for OS (P = .03) and DFS (P = .001).


The SUV of the primary tumor was the strongest prognostic factor among the patients treated by curative surgery or radiotherapy.

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