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Investigation of Association Between Borderline Pancreatic Head Cancer and Glucose Uptake by Using Positron-Emission Tomographic Studies

Ying Zhang, Lei Qin, Changming Zhang

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Liaocheng People’s Hospital, Liaocheng, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:4947-4953

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.904746

Available online:

Published: 2017-10-16


BACKGROUND: In the background of the well-known importance of positron-emission tomographic studies (PET) in the prediction of pancreatic oncologic problems, we designed and performed this investigation to study the link between borderline pancreatic head cancer and glucose uptake by using PET.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively investigated patients during the period of almost 4 years (May 2013 to December 2016). Patients underwent potentially curative resection for borderline exocrine pancreatic head adenocarcinoma without undergoing neoadjuvant therapy. We divided our PET protocol into 2 sets of methods as per renal calyces: 1) U-RC type in which renal calyx (RC) has relatively higher value than that of 18F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake and 2) S-RC type in which renal calyx has similar value than that of 18F-FDG uptake.
RESULTS: A total of 67 patients were enrolled after reclassification on the basis of majority-agreement. Among these patients, U-RC type was found in 22 patients (32.8%) while S-RC type was found in 45 patients (67.2%). Significant statistical differences were observed for each of the 2 types of pancreatic head cancer (U-RC type and S-RC type) in terms of adjusted cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), size of the tumor, tumor volume (TV2.8), maximum standard uptake value (SUV↑), and lesion glycolysis (LG). A significantly longer disease-free survival time was shown by U-RC type (n=18) pancreatic cancer in comparison to S-RC type (n=42) (25.3 vs. 11.2 months). Additionally, U-RC type (n=4) had higher disease-free survival than did aS-RC type (n=3) (29.4 vs. 12.5 months).
CONCLUSIONS: Our PET protocol appears to be an indicator for estimation of recurrence of pancreatic head cancer and is as an indispensable asset to oncologists.

Keywords: Clinical Protocols, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Positron-Emission Tomography



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