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Br J Radiol. 2016 Nov;89(1067):20160217. Epub 2016 Aug 2.

Role of fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT in head and neck oncology: the point of view of the radiation oncologist.

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1 Radiation Oncology Department, Cruces University Hospital/Biocruces Health Research Institute, Barakaldo, Spain.
2 Grupo Español de Oncología Radioterápica en Cabeza y Cuello (GEORCC).
3 Radiation Oncology Department, Hospital Duran i Reynals (ICO) Avda, Gran Via de L´Hospitalet, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.
4 Radiation Oncology Department, Sacro Cuore-Don Calabria Hospital, Verona, Italy.
5 Radiation Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Malaga, Spain.
6 Radiation Oncology Department, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.
7 Nuclear Medicine Department, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France.
8 fESTRO Radiation Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland.


Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common malignant tumour of the head and neck. The initial TNM staging, the evaluation of the tumour response during treatment, and the long-term surveillance are crucial moments in the approach to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Thus, at each of these moments, the choice of the best diagnostic tool providing the more precise and larger information is crucial. Positron emission tomography with fluorine-18 fludeoxyglucose integrated with CT (18F-FDG-PET/CT) rapidly gained clinical acceptance, and it has become an important imaging tool in routine clinical oncology. However, controversial data are currently available, for example, on the role of 18F-FDG-PET/CT imaging during radiotherapy planning, the prognostic value or its real clinical impact on treatment decisions. In this article, the role of 18F-FDG-PET/CT imaging in HNSCC during pre-treatment staging, radiotherapy planning, treatment response assessment, prognosis and follow-up is reviewed focusing on current evidence and controversial issues. A proposal on how to integrate 18F-FDG-PET/CT in daily clinical practice is also described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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