Article Abstract

Positron emission tomography imaging in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

Authors: Norbert Galldiks, Carina Stegmayr, Antje Willuweit, Karl-Josef Langen


In pediatric patients with brain tumors, both the monitoring of brain tumor therapy and evaluation of treatment response is of paramount importance (1). In particular, the early identification of non-response allows the termination of an ineffective therapy to avoid possible side effects (e.g., bone marrow depression, nausea, fatigue, allergies, and polyneuropathy) and therefore to maintain or even improve life-quality. Furthermore, the early identification of non-response allows an earlier treatment change. For example, in the event of chemotherapy failure, negative side effects can be avoided and an earlier switch to another chemotherapeutic agent is possible before bone marrow reserves are exhausted. Moreover, identification of treatment failure may help reduce costs. To date, this is highly relevant because the expense of newer systemic treatment options (e.g., immunotherapy and targeted therapy options such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, BRAF inhibitors, and MEK inhibitors) is considerably higher than conventional alkylating chemotherapy.