The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) uptake and molecular biological markers in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients.Methods
Our patient population included 51 patients who underwent 18F-FDG PET/computed tomography before surgery. Excised tumor tissue was analyzed immunohistochemically using monoclonal antibodies for glucose transporter-1 (GLUT-1), GLUT-3, CD34 [microvessel density (MVD) marker], CD68 (macrophage marker), and CD163 (tumor-associated macrophage marker). The relationships among pathological factors [pathological T stage (p-T stage), pathological lymph node status (p-N status), pathological stage (p-stage), and pathological tumor length], the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), and these molecular biological markers were evaluated using Spearman’s rank test and the Kruskal–Wallis test.Results
GLUT-1, GLUT-3, CD34, and CD163 significantly correlated with SUVmax (r=0.547, P<0.001 for GLUT-1; r=0.569, P<0.001 for GLUT-3; r=0.463, P=0.001 for CD34, r=0.455, P=0.001 for CD163), whereas SUVmax, GLUT-1, GLUT-3, CD34, and CD163 significantly correlated with p-T stage (r=0.552, P<0.001 for SUVmax, r=0.307, P=0.03 for GLUT-1, r=0.349, P=0.013 for GLUT-3, r=0.313, P=0.027 for CD34, r=0.526 for CD163, P<0.001), but not with p-N status. CD68 levels showed no significant correlation with SUVmax, p-T stage, p-stage, or p-N status.Conclusion
SUVmax, GLUT-1 expression, GLUT-3 expression, MVD, and TAMs show a relationship with the tumor stage and extent of ESCC. GLUT-1, GLUT-3, MVD, and TAMs are associated with the mechanism of 18F-FDG uptake in ESCC.