Background. Positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) using fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) is increasingly used in the evaluation of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC), primarily for staging purposes. The aim of this paper is to perform a systematic review about the usefulness of PET-CT using FDG in response assessment after treatment with tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (TKIs) in patients with advanced RCC.
Materials and methods. The scientific literature about the role of PET-CT using FDG in the assessment of response to treatment with TKIs in patients affected by advanced RCC was systematically reviewed.
Results. Seven studies about the role of PET-CT using FDG in the response assessment after treatment with TKIs (essentially sunitinib and sorafenib) in advanced RCC were retrieved in full-text and analysed, to determine the predictive role of this morpho-functional imaging method on patient outcome.
Conclusions. To date, the role of PET-CT using FDG in evaluating the response to TKIs in metastatic RCC patients is still not well defined, partly due to heterogeneity of available studies; however, PET-CT reveals potential role for the selection of patients undergoing therapy with TKIs. The use of contrast-enhanced PET-CT appears to be promising for a “multi-dimensional” evaluation of treatment response in these patients.