[18F]fludeoxyglucose positron emission tomography and computed tomography as a prognostic tool before liver transplantation, resection, and loco-ablative therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma

Yael Asman, Amy R. Evenson, Einat Even-Sapir, Oren Shibolet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common cancer and the third most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) and resection are curative treatment options for well-selected patients with HCC, whereas loco-ablative therapy has been shown to prolong survival. Organ and treatment allocations for these patients are currently based on the number and size of tumors, as defined by the Milan criteria, and on functional capacity, and they are incorporated into the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer staging system and treatment strategy. Even though these staging criteria have markedly improved the outcomes of patients with HCC, they still lack accuracy in predicting the risk of tumor recurrence because they do not incorporate markers of tumor biology and behavior. Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) with [18F]fludeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) constitute an imaging modality for detecting tumor tissue that is metabolically active. Uptake of [18F]FDG is highly associated with tumor aggressiveness. In this review, we present the accumulating data on the use of [18F]FDG PET-CT as an in vivo biomarker and its predictive value in identifying patients at risk for HCC recurrence after liver transplantation, resection, or ablation. These data suggest that the introduction of [18F]FDG PET-CT into the imaging algorithm of patients planned for liver transplantation, resection, or ablation may improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-580
Number of pages9
JournalLiver Transplantation
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2015

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