Send to

Choose Destination
J Nucl Med. 2010 Oct;51(10):1532-8. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.110.078592. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Correlation of 6-18F-fluoro-L-dopa PET uptake with proliferation and tumor grade in newly diagnosed and recurrent gliomas.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


6-(18)F-fluoro-l-dopa ((18)F-FDOPA) measured with PET as a biomarker of amino acid uptake has been investigated in brain tumor imaging. The aims of the current study were to determine whether the degree of (18)F-FDOPA uptake in brain tumors predicted tumor grade and was associated with tumor proliferative activity in newly diagnosed and recurrent gliomas.


Fifty-nine patients (40 men, 19 women; mean age ± SD, 44.4 ± 12.3 y) with newly diagnosed (n = 22) or recurrent (n = 37) gliomas underwent (18)F-FDOPA PET perioperatively. Tumor tissue was obtained by resection or biopsy in all patients. The tumor grade and Ki-67 proliferation index were obtained by standard pathology assays. Tumor (18)F-FDOPA uptake was quantified by determining various standardized uptake value (SUV) parameters (mean SUV, maximum SUV [SUVmax], mean values of voxels with top 20% SUVs, and tumor-to-normal-brain tissue ratios) that were then correlated with histopathologic grade and Ki-67 proliferation index.


Fifty-nine lesions in 59 patients were analyzed. (18)F-FDOPA uptake was significantly higher in high-grade than in low-grade tumors for newly diagnosed tumors (SUVmax, 4.22 ± 1.30 vs. 2.34 ± 1.35, P = 0.005) but not for recurrent tumors that had gone through treatment previously (SUVmax, 3.36 ± 1.26 vs. 2.67 ± 1.18, P = 0.22). An SUVmax threshold of 2.72 differentiated low-grade from high-grade tumors, with a sensitivity and specificity of 85% and 89%, respectively, using receiver-operating-characteristic curve analysis (area under the curve, 0.86). (18)F-FDOPA PET uptake correlated significantly with Ki-67 tumor proliferation index in newly diagnosed tumors (r = 0.66, P = 0.001) but not in recurrent tumors (r = 0.14, P = 0.41).


(18)F-FDOPA uptake is significantly higher in high-grade than in low-grade tumors in newly diagnosed but not recurrent tumors that had been treated previously. A significant correlation between (18)F-FDOPA uptake and tumor proliferation in newly diagnosed tumors was observed, whereas this correlation was not identified for recurrent tumors. Thus, (18)F-FDOPA PET might serve as a noninvasive marker of tumor grading and might provide a useful surrogate of tumor proliferative activity in newly diagnosed gliomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center