18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in uterine carcinosarcoma

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Uterine carcinosarcomas clinically confined to the uterus usually harbor occult metastases. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the value of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in uterine carcinosarcoma.


Patients with histologically confirmed uterine carcinosarcoma were enrolled. Abdominal and pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/whole-body computed tomography (CT) scan, and whole-body 18F-FDG PET or PET/CT were undertaken for primary staging, evaluating response, and restaging/post-therapy surveillance. The clinical impact of 18F-FDG PET was determined on a scan basis.


A total of 19 patients were recruited and 31 18F-FDG PET scans (including 8 scans performed on a PET/CT scanner) were performed. Positive impacts of scans were found in 36.8% (7/19) for primary staging, 66.7% (2/3) for monitoring response, and 11.1% (1/9) for restaging/post-therapy surveillance. PET excluded falsely inoperable disease defined by MRI in two patients. Aggressive treatment applying to three patients with PET-defined resectable stage IVB disease seemed futile. Two patients died of disease shortly after salvage therapy restaged by PET. With PET monitoring, one stage IVB patient treated by targeted therapy only was alive with good performance. Using PET did not lead to improvement of overall survival of this series compared with the historical control (n = 35) (P = 0.779).


The preliminary results suggest that 18F-FDG PET is beneficial in excluding falsely inoperable disease for curative therapy and in making a decision on palliation for better quality of life instead of aggressive treatment under the guidance of PET. PET seems to have limited value in post-therapy surveillance or restaging after failure.

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