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South Asian J Cancer. 2013 Jul;2(3):171-8. doi: 10.4103/2278-330X.114148.

Positron emission tomography-computed tomography in the management of lung cancer: An update.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Radiation Medicine Centre, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Tata Memorial Hospital Annexe, Mumbai, India.


This communication presents an update on the current role of positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) in the various clinical decision-making steps in lung carcinoma. The modality has been reported to be useful in characterizing solitary pulmonary nodules, improving lung cancer staging, especially for the detection of nodal and metastatic site involvement, guiding therapy, monitoring treatment response, and predicting outcome in non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Its role has been more extensively evaluated in NSCLC than small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC). Limitations in FDG PET-CT are encountered in cases of tumor histotypes characterized by low glucose uptake (mucinous forms, bronchioalveolar carcinoma, neuroendocrine tumors), in the assessment of brain metastases (high physiologic 18F-FDG uptake in the brain) and in cases presenting with associated inflammation. The future potentials of newer PET tracers beyond FDG are enumerated. An evolving area is PET-guided assessment of targeted therapy (e.g., EGFR and EGFR tyrosine kinase overexpression) in tumors which have significant potential for drug development.


Lung cancer; PET-CT; restaging; solitary pulmonary nodule; staging

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