Oesophageal cancer is an aggressive disease. The possibility to early stratify patients as responsive and non-responsive with a non-invasive method is extremely appealing. The uptake of Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) in tumours, provided by positron emission tomography (PET) images, has been proved to be useful to assess the initial staging of the disease, recurrence, and response to chemotherapy and chemo-radiotherapy (CRT). In the last years, efforts have been focused on the possibility to use ad interim 18F-FDG-PET/CT (PETint) to evaluate response during radiation therapy. However, controversial findings have been reported, although some relevant results would support its use for individual therapeutic decision. The present review assembles the comprehensive literature of the last decade to evaluate whether and in which cases PETint may offer predictive potential in oesophageal cancer. All the analysed studies (13 studies, 697 patients) denoted PETint as a challenging examination for early assessment of outcomes during CRT. In particular, 8 studies advocated the predictivity of PETint, whilst 5 did not find any correlation between the interim variation of PET parameters and the pathological complete response and/or the clinical outcome. The reasons that possibly have caused contradictions among the studies demand further research with prospective and uniform protocols and methods of analysis to assess the predictive and prognostic value of PETint in oesophageal cancer.
- Ad-interim FDG-PET
- Oesophageal cancer
- Tumour response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging