European Respiratory Journal vol:17 issue:4 pages:802-20
In the past 5 yrs, positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) has become an important imaging modality in lung cancer patients. At this time, the indication of FDG-PET as a complimentary tool to computed tomography in the diagnosis and staging of nonsmall cell lung cancer has gradually gained more widespread acceptance and also reimbursement in many European countries. This review focuses on the data of FDG-PET in the diagnosis of lung nodules and masses, and in locoregional and extrathoracic staging of nonsmall cell lung cancer. Emphasis is put on the potential clinical implementation of the currently available FDG-PET data. The use of FDG-PET in these indications now needs further validation in large-scale multicentre randomized studies, focusing mainly on treatment outcome parameters, survival and cost-efficacy. Interesting findings with 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose-positron emission tomography have also been reported for the evaluation of response to radio- or chemotherapy, in radiotherapy planning, recurrence detection and assessment of prognosis. Finally, a whole new field of application of positron emission tomography in molecular biology, using new radiopharmaceuticals, is under extensive investigation.