Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of any tumour type. The main driver of lung tumour growth and development is uncontrolled cellular proliferation. Poor patient outcomes are partly the result of the limited range of effective anti-cancer therapies available and partly due to the limited accuracy of biomarkers to report on cell proliferation rates in patients. Accordingly, accurate methods of diagnosing, staging and assessing response to therapy are crucial to improve patient outcomes. One effective way of assessing cell proliferation is to employ non-invasive evaluation using 3'-deoxy-3'-[18F]fluorothymidine ([18F]FLT) positron emission tomography [18F]FLT-PET. [18F]FLT, unlike the most commonly used PET tracer [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG), can specifically report on cell proliferation and does not accumulate in inflammatory cells. Therefore, this radiotracer could exhibit higher specificity in diagnosis and staging, along with more accurate monitoring of therapy response at early stages in the treatment cycle. This review summarises and evaluates published studies on the clinical use of [18F]FLT to diagnose, stage and assess response to therapy in lung cancer.
- Positron emission tomography
- Lung cancer