Journal of Clinical Oncology vol:17 issue:3 pages:894-901
PURPOSE: To assess the additional value of the whole-body [18F]-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) scan as a staging modality complementing conventional diagnostic methods (CDM) in patients suspected of having recurrent colorectal adenocarcinoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In 103 patients, the discordances between FDG-PET and CDM results were identified and related to the final diagnosis obtained by histopathology or clinical follow-up (> 1 year). All FDG-PET studies were reviewed with full knowledge of the CDM findings. RESULTS: In a region-based analysis, discordances between CDM and FDG-PET findings were found in 40 of 412 regions (10%). In these, FDG-PET had additional diagnostic value in 14 of 16 locoregional, six of seven hepatic, seven of eight abdominal, and eight of nine extra-abdominal regions. In a patient-based analysis, CDM categorized a subgroup of 60 patients as having resectable recurrent disease limited to the liver (n = 37) or locoregional region (n = 23). In 13 of these patients, there were discordant FDG-PET findings, detecting additional tumor sites in nine patients and excluding disease in three patients and yielding an additional diagnostic value in 20% of the patients. A second subgroup consisted of 13 patients with inconclusive CDM findings (n = 5) or with elevated plasma carcinoembryonic antigen levels and an otherwise negative conventional work-up (n = 8). In these patients, FDG-PET results were correct in eight of nine discordances, yielding a positive additional diagnostic value in 62% of the patients. CONCLUSION: Whole-body FDG-PET can have a clear impact on the therapeutic management in the follow-up of patients with colorectal cancer.