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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 847162, 7 pages
Research Article

Modeling the Relationship between Fluorodeoxyglucose Uptake and Tumor Radioresistance as a Function of the Tumor Microenvironment

The Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10065, USA

Received 4 July 2014; Accepted 25 August 2014; Published 8 September 2014

Academic Editor: Iuliana Toma-Dasu

Copyright © 2014 Jeho Jeong and Joseph O. Deasy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) uptake in tumors has often been correlated with increasing local failure and shorter overall survival, but the radiobiological mechanisms of this uptake are unclear. We explore the relationship between FDG-PET uptake and tumor radioresistance using a mechanistic model that considers cellular status as a function of microenvironmental conditions, including proliferating cells with access to oxygen and glucose, metabolically active cells with access to glucose but not oxygen, and severely hypoxic cells that are starving. However, it is unclear what the precise uptake levels of glucose should be for cells that receive oxygen and glucose versus cells that only receive glucose. Different potential FDG uptake profiles, as a function of the microenvironment, were simulated. Predicted tumor doses for 50% control (TD50) in 2 Gy fractions were estimated for each assumed uptake profile and for various possible cell mixtures. The results support the hypothesis of an increased avidity of FDG for cells in the intermediate stress state (those receiving glucose but not oxygen) compared to well-oxygenated (and proliferating) cells.