Maximizing the use of batch production of 18F-FDOPA for imaging of brain tumors to increase availability of hybrid PET/MR imaging in clinical setting

Mariam Aboian, Ramon Barajas, Julia Shatalov, Vahid Ravanfar, Emma Bahroos, Elizabeth Tong, Jennie W. Taylor, N. Oberheim Bush, Patricia Sneed, Youngho Seo, Soonmee Cha, Miguel Hernandez-Pampaloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Amino acid PET imaging of brain tumors has been shown to play an important role in predicting tumor grade, delineation of tumor margins, and differentiating tumor recurrence from the background of postradiation changes, but is not commonly used in clinical practice because of high cost. We propose that PET/MRI imaging of patients grouped to the day of tracer radiosynthesis will significantly decrease the cost of PET imaging, which will improve patient access to PET. Methods: Seventeen patients with either primary brain tumors or metastatic brain tumors were recruited for imaging on 3T PET/MRI and were scanned on 4 separate days in groups of 3 to 5 patients. The first group of consecutively imaged patients contained 3 patients, followed by 2 groups of 5 patients, and a last group of 4 patients. Results: For each of the patients, standard of care gadolinium-enhanced MRI and dynamic PET imaging with 18F-FDOPA amino acid tracer was obtained. The total cost savings of scanning 17 patients in batches of 4 as opposed to individual radiosynthesis was 48.5% (28 321). Semiquantitative analysis of tracer uptake in normal brain were performed with appropriate accumulation and expected subsequent washout. Conclusion: Amino acid PET tracers have been shown to play a critical role in the characterization of brain tumors but their adaptation to clinical practice has been limited because of the high cost of PET. Scheduling patient imaging to maximally use the radiosynthesis of imaging tracer significantly reduces the cost of PET and results in increased availability of PET tracer use in neuro-oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-97
Number of pages7
JournalNeuro-Oncology Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • cost
  • radioisotope
  • radiotracer
  • synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Neurology


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