The impact of 18∈F-FET PET-CT on target definition in image-guided stereotactic radiotherapy in patients with skull base lesions Head & neck imaging

Harun Badakhshi, Reinhold Graf, Vikas Prasad, Volker Budach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: 18 F-fluoro-ethyl-tyrosine PET is gaining more indications in the field of oncology. We investigated the potentials of usage of FET-PET/CT in addition to MRI for definition of gross tumor volume (GTV) in stereotactic radiotherapy of lesions of skull base. Methods: We included in a prospective setting 21 cases. An MRI was performed, completed by FET PET/CT. Different GTV's were defined based on respective imaging tools: 1. GTVMRI, 2. GTV MRI /CT, 3. GTV composit (1 + 2), and GTVPET = GTV Boost. Lesions could be visualised by MRI and FET-PET/CT in all patients. Results: FET tracer enhancement was found in all cases. Skull base infiltration by these lesions was observed by MRI, CT (PET/CT) and FET-PET (PET/CT) in all patients. Totally, brain tissue infiltration was seen in 10 patients. While, in 7 (out 10) cases, MRI and CT (from PET/CT) were indicating brain infiltration, FET-PET could add additional information regarding infiltrative behaviour: in 3 (out 10) patients, infiltration of the brain was displayed merely in FET-PET. An enlargement of GTVMRI/CT due to the FET-PET driven information, which revealed GTVcomposite, was necessary in 7 cases,. This enlargement was significant by definition (> 10% of GTVMRI/CT). The mean PET-effect on GTV counted for 1 ± 4 cm3. The restricted boost fields were based mainly on the GTVPET volume. In mean, about 8.5 cm3 of GTVMRI/CT, which showed no FET uptake, were excluded from target volume. GTVboost driven by only-PET-activity, was in mean by 33% smaller than the initial large treatment field, GTVcomposite, for those cases received boost treatment. FET-PET lead to significant (>10%) changes in the initial treatment fields in 11/21 patients and showed additional tumour volume relevant for radiation planning in 6/21 cases, and led to a subsequent decrease of more than 10% of the initial volumes for the boost fields. Conclusion: The implementation of FET PET into the planning procedures showed a benefit in terms of accurate definition of skull base lesions as targets for Image-guided stereotactic Radiotherapy. This has to be investigated prospectively in larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalCancer Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 25 2014


  • Image-guided
  • Skull base
  • Stereotactic radiotherapy


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