18F-fluorothymidine PET imaging in gliomas: an update
Brain neoplasms constitute a group of tumors with discrete differentiation grades, and therefore, course of disease and prognosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) remains the gold standard method for the investigation of central nervous system tumors. However, MRI suffers certain limitations, especially if radiation therapy or chemotherapy has been previously applied. On the other hand, given the development of newer radiopharmaceuticals, positron emission tomography (PET) aims to a better investigation of brain tumors, assisting in the clinical management of the patients. In the present review, the potential contribution of radiolabeled fluorothymidine (FLT) imaging for the evaluation of brain tumors will be discussed. In particular, we will present the role of FLT-PET imaging in the depiction of well and poorly differentiated lesions, the assessment of patient prognosis and treatment response, and the recognition of disease recurrence. Moreover, related semi-quantitative and kinetic parameters will be discussed.