Anal cancer maximum F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose uptake on positron emission tomography is correlated with prognosis

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Purpose: To evaluate anal cancer uptake of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) measured as the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) by positron emission tomography (PET) and its correlation with prognostic factors. Patients and methods: The study population consisted of 77 patients with stages 0-IIIB anal cancer who underwent pre-treatment FDG-PET. Tumor histology included 65 squamous cell, 11 basaloid, and 1 small cell cancers. SUVmax and sites of lymph node metastasis were recorded. We analyzed the association between SUVmax and prognostic factors. Results: The mean SUVmax was 10.0 (range 1.0-43.1). The stage distribution included: 2 stage 0, 7 stage I, 49 stage II, 10 stage IIIA, 9 stage IIIB. SUVmax and clinical tumor size were not associated (R2 = 0.338). Histology did not significantly influence SUVmax (mean SUVmax 10.0 for squamous versus 9.90 for basaloid). Higher SUVmax was associated with an increased risk of nodal metastasis at diagnosis (p < 0.0001). Higher SUVmax was associated with worse disease-free survival (p = 0.05). Patients with high anal tumor SUVmax at diagnosis were at an increased risk of persistent or recurrent disease on post-therapy FDG-PET performed less than 4 months after completing therapy (p = 0.0402). Conclusions: SUVmax is a valuable biomarker of anal cancer prognosis, predicting increased risk of lymph node metastasis and worse disease-free survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-291
Number of pages4
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Anal cancer
  • F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Prognosis
  • Standardized uptake value


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