2-[11C]thymidine positron emission tomography reproducibility in humans

Paula Wells, Roger N. Gunn, Colin Steel, Alex S. Ranicar, Frank Brady, Safiye Osman, Terry Jones, Pat Price

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: To evaluate the reproducibility of 2-[11C]thymidine positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in patients with advanced intra-abdominal malignancies. Patients and Methods: The reproducibility of 2-[11C] thymidine PET was studied by comparing interpatient and intrapatient variability (coefficient of variability, COV) of both blood and tissue data. Arterial plasma metabolite levels were measured using on-line sampling and high-pressure liquid chromatography. 2-[11C]Thymidine retention in tissue was measured as the standardized uptake value at the end of the scan (SUVend), the area under the time-activity curve (AUC 0-1 hour), and the fractional retention of thymidine (FRT). A group of seven patients were scanned 1 week apart with no intervening anticancer therapy. Results: There was interpatient variability in the levels of 2-[ 11C] thymidine and its main metabolite, 11CO2, in plasma. Variability in 2-[11C]thymidine PET data was greater between (COV: SUVend = 38%, AUC0-1 hour = 32%, FRT = 47%) than within (COV: SUVend = 8%, AUC0-1 hour = 2%, FRT = 9%) patients. There was a borderline significant difference between the paired tumor data for SUVend (P = 0.041), but not for AUC0-1 hour (P = 0.81) or FRT (P = 0.90). There was a good correlation between paired data for SUVend (r = 0.98), AUC0-1 hour (r = 0.99), and FRT (r = 0.95). Conclusions: This is the first report showing that 2-[11C] thymidine PET scanning is reproducible in humans. Repeat scanning of tumor proliferation using 2-[11C] thymidine PET is feasible to perform in human intra-abdominal malignancies and should aid the future rapid assessment of anti-proliferative tumor agents. © 2005 American Association for Cancer Research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4341-4347
    Number of pages6
    JournalClinical Cancer Research
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2005


    • metabolism: Abdominal Neoplasms
    • Adult
    • Aged
    • Area Under Curve
    • diagnostic use: Carbon Radioisotopes
    • Female
    • Humans
    • metabolism: Liver
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • methods: Positron-Emission Tomography
    • Reproducibility of Results
    • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
    • metabolism: Spleen
    • metabolism: Thymidine
    • Time Factors
    • Tissue Distribution


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