Comparison of amino acid positron emission tomographic radiotracers for molecular imaging of primary and metastatic brain tumors.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging technology that can detect and characterize tumors based on their molecular and biochemical properties, such as altered glucose, nucleoside, or amino acid metabolism. PET plays a significant role in the diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of various cancers, including brain tumors. In this article, we compare uptake mechanisms and the clinical performance of the amino acid PET radiotracers (l-[methyl-11C]methionine [MET], 18F-fluoroethyl-tyrosine [FET], 18F-fluoro-l-dihydroxy-phenylalanine [FDOPA], and 11C-alpha-methyl-l-tryptophan [AMT]) most commonly used for brain tumor imaging. First, we discuss and compare the mechanisms of tumoral transport and accumulation, the basis of differential performance of these radioligands in clinical studies. Then we summarize studies that provided direct comparisons among these amino acid tracers and to clinically used 2-deoxy-2[18F]fluoro-d-glucose [FDG] PET imaging. We also discuss how tracer kinetic analysis can enhance the clinical information obtained from amino acid PET images. We discuss both similarities and differences in potential clinical value for each radioligand. This comparative review can guide which radiotracer to favor in future clinical trials aimed at defining the role of these molecular imaging modalities in the clinical management of brain tumor patients.
AuthorsCsaba Juhász, Shalini Dwivedi, David O Kamson, Sharon K Michelhaugh, Sandeep Mittal
JournalMolecular imaging (Mol Imaging) Vol. 13 ( 2014) ISSN: 1536-0121 [Electronic] United States
PMID24825818 (Publication Type: Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review)
Chemical References
  • Amino Acids
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Vitamin U
  • Glucose
  • Amino Acids (pharmacokinetics)
  • Brain Neoplasms (pathology, radionuclide imaging)
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Fluorine Radioisotopes
  • Glucose (metabolism)
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis (pathology, radionuclide imaging)
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Vitamin U

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