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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

18F-FET PET compared with 18F-FDG PET and CT in patients with head and neck cancer.

Recent studies suggest a somewhat selective uptake of O-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (FET) in cerebral gliomas and in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and a good distinction between tumor and inflammation. The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic potential of 18F-FET PET in patients with SCC of the head and neck region by comparing that tracer with 18F-FDG PET and CT. METHODS: Twenty-one patients with suspected head and neck tumors underwent 18F-FET PET, 18F-FDG PET, and CT within 1 wk before operation. After coregistration, the images were evaluated by 3 independent observers and an ROC analysis was performed, with the histopathologic result used as a reference. Furthermore, the maximum standardized uptake values (SUVs) in the lesions were determined. RESULTS: In 18 of 21 patients, histologic examination revealed SCC, and in 2 of these patients, a second SCC tumor was found at a different anatomic site. In 3 of 21 patients, inflammatory tissue and no tumor were identified. Eighteen of 20 SCC tumors were positive for both 18F-FDG uptake and 18F-FET uptake, one 0.3-cm SCC tumor was detected neither with 18F-FDG PET nor with 18F-FET PET, and one 0.7-cm SCC tumor in a 4.3-cm ulcer was overestimated as a 4-cm tumor on 18F-FDG PET and missed on 18F-FET PET. Inflammatory tissue was positive for 18F-FDG uptake (SUV, 3.7-4.7) but negative for 18F-FET uptake (SUV, 1.3-1.6). The SUVs of 18F-FDG in SCC were significantly higher (13.0 +/- 9.3) than those of 18F-FET (4.4 +/- 2.2). The ROC analysis showed significantly superior detection of SCC with (18)F-FET PET or 18F-FDG PET than with CT. No significant difference (P = 0.71) was found between 18F-FDG PET and 18F-FET PET. The sensitivity of 18F-FDG PET was 93%, specificity was 79%, and accuracy was 83%. 18F-FET PET yielded a lower sensitivity of 75% but a substantially higher specificity of 95% (accuracy, 90%). CONCLUSION: 18F-FET may not replace 18F-FDG in the PET diagnostics of head and neck cancer but may be a helpful additional tool in selected patients, because 18F-FET PET might better differentiate tumor tissue from inflammatory tissue. The sensitivity of 18F-FET PET in SCC, however, was inferior to that of 18F-FDG PET because of lower SUVs.[1]


  1. 18F-FET PET compared with 18F-FDG PET and CT in patients with head and neck cancer. Pauleit, D., Zimmermann, A., Stoffels, G., Bauer, D., Risse, J., Flüss, M.O., Hamacher, K., Coenen, H.H., Langen, K.J. J. Nucl. Med. (2006) [Pubmed]
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