Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 636379, 10 pages
Research Article

The Impact of 18F-FDG PET CT Prior to Chemoradiotherapy for Stage III/IV Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

1Departments of Nuclear Medicine, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK
2Departments of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK
3Departments of Clinical Radiology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, West Yorkshire, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK

Received 8 December 2011; Accepted 16 January 2012

Academic Editor: Y. Yamamoto

Copyright © 2012 Robin J. D. Prestwich et al. 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.


Introduction. To determine the value of a FDG-PET-CT scan in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) prior to chemoradiotherapy. Materials and Methods. Consecutive patients with stage III or IV HNSCC who had undergone a staging FDG-PET-CT scan prior to chemoradiotherapy between August 2008 and April 2011 were included. Clinical details and conventional imaging (CT and/or MRI) were, retrospectively, reviewed, a TNM stage was assigned, and levels of cervical lymph node involvement were documented. This process was repeated with the addition of FDG-PET-CT. Radiotherapy plans were reviewed for patients with an alteration identified on TNM staging and/or nodal level identification with FDG-PET-CT and potential alterations in radiotherapy planning were documented. Results. 55 patients were included in the analysis. FDG-PET-CT altered the TNM stage in 17/55 (31%) of patients, upstaging disease in 11 (20%) and downstaging in 6 (11%); distant metastases were identified by FDG-PET-CT in 1 (2%) patient. FDG-PET-CT altered the lymph node levels identified in 22 patients (40%), upclassifying disease in 16 (29%) and downclassifying in 6 (11%). Radiotherapy plans were judged retrospectively to have been altered by FDG-PET-CT in 10 patients (18%). Conclusions. The use of FDG-PET-CT potentially impacts upon both treatment decisions and radiotherapy planning.