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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2014 Jan 15;96(2):152-8. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.M.00062.

Sarcoma mid-therapy [F-18]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) and patient outcome.

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University of Washington, UWMC Box 356113, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail address for J.F. Eary: E-mail address for E.U. Conrad:
School of Mathematical Sciences, University College Cork, Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork, Ireland. E-mail address for J. O'Sullivan: E-mail address for F. O'Sullivan:
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Seattle Children's Hospital, B 6553, 4800 Sand Point Way, Seattle, WA 98105. E-mail address:
Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Cancer Center, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, SPC 5912, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail address:



Our previous research investigated the ability of [F-18]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging results to predict outcome in patients with sarcoma. Tumor uptake of FDG before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy was predictive of patient outcome. With this background, a prospective clinical study was designed to assess whether tumor FDG uptake levels in the middle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy added additional prognostic information to pre-therapy imaging data.


Sixty-five patients with either bone or soft-tissue sarcoma were treated with neoadjuvant-based chemotherapy according to the standard clinical practice for each tumor group. All patients had FDG PET studies before therapy, mid-therapy (after two cycles of chemotherapy), and before resection. Tumor FDG uptake (SUVmax, the maximum standardized uptake value) at each imaging time point, tumor type (bone or soft-tissue sarcoma), tumor size, and histopathologic grade were recorded for each patient. The time from the pre-therapy FDG PET study to events of local tumor recurrence, metastasis, or death were extracted from the clinical records for comparison with the imaging data. Univariate and multivariate analyses of the imaging and clinical data were performed.


Univariate and multivariate data analyses showed that the difference (measured as the percentage reduction) between the pre-therapy and mid-therapy maximum tumor uptake values added prognostic value to patient outcome predictions independently of other patient variables.


The utility of a tumor pre-therapy FDG PET scan as a biomarker for the outcome of patients with sarcoma was strengthened by a mid-therapy scan to evaluate the interim treatment response.

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