PET/CT Staging and Restaging of ENT Tumors, Pitfalls

  • Klaus Strobel


Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. Accurate staging is crucial for therapy planning. Patients with small tumors and without nodal and distant metastases (T1/T2N0M0) have a good chance to be cured. Nodal metastases or distant metastases at initial presentation worsen the prognosis significantly. Because alcohol and nicotine abuse are important risk factors for head and neck cancers, these patients often develop second primaries, especially in the upper aerodigestive tract (up to 5–10% of cases). PET and PET/CT play an emerging role in staging of patients with HNCC. FDG-PET/CT is increasingly used for radiation therapy planning in combination with intensity-modulated therapy (IMRT). Nearly all PET/CT studies in patients with HNCC involve the use of FDG, which is the focus of this article.


Neck Cancer Radiat Oncol Biol Phys Radiation Therapy Planning Therapy Response Evaluation Conventional Bone Scan 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Klaus Strobel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland

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