Ki-67 immunostaining in pancreatic cancer and chronic active pancreatitis: Does in vivo FDG uptake correlate with proliferative activity?

A. C. Buck*, H. H. Schirrmeister, C. A. Guhlmann, C. G. Diederichs, C. Shen, I. Buchmann, J. Kotzerke, D. Birk, T. Mattfeldt, S. N. Reske

*Corresponding author for this work
84 Citations (Scopus)


PET with 18F-FDG has been shown to be useful in the detection and staging of pancreatic cancer. However, whether FDG uptake is dependent on proliferative activity is still unclear. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate a probable correlation between FDG uptake and proliferative activity in benign and malignant pancreatic tumors. Methods: Our series consisted of 23 patients with pancreatic cancer and 9 patients with chronic active pancreatitis (CAP). FDG PET was performed within 2 wk before surgery, and standardized uptake values (SUVs) were calculated for benign and malignant pancreatic tumors. Patients were selected when focally increased FDG uptake in previously known pancreatic tumors was present. Proliferation fraction was measured in tissue specimens using the anti-Ki-67 antibody MIB-1. A computer-assisted imaging system was used for quantification of nuclear Ki-67 immunostaining. Immunohistochemical findings were correlated to SUVs. Results: Pancreatic cancer showed both intense nuclear staining of Ki-67 (39% ± 16%) and high FDG uptake (SUV = 3.6 ± 1.6). However, no significant correlation was found between in vivo FDG uptake and Ki-67 immunoreactivity (P = 0.65). By contrast, Ki-67 nuclear staining was significantly lower (3.8% ± 2.7%, P < 0.05) in CAP, whereas FDG uptake was in the same range as for pancreatic cancer (SUV = 3.5 ± 1.8). Conclusion: FDG uptake did not correlate with proliferative activity in pancreatic cancer. Proliferative activity was tenfold higher in malignant pancreatic tumors than in benign tumors associated with CAP, whereas FDG uptake in vivo did not differ significantly. Thus, a PET tracer indicating cellular proliferation should better differentiate between cancer and inflammatory lesions than do metabolic markers such as FDG.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)721-725
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering


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