18F-FDG positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging technique routinely used in the diagnosis and staging of non-small cell lung cancer, as well as to plan radiation therapy and to detect disease recurrence. Hypoxia is a state where areas of tissue in a tumor continue to grow despite a decreased supply of oxygen; hypoxia makes tumors more aggressive and resistant to radiation therapy. PET imaging has the potential for detecting areas of hypoxia in a tumor in a noninvasive way.
The purpose of this study is to determine if a new PET imaging agent called 18F-FMISO can detect hypoxia and predict response to standard treatment and the risk of cancer recurrence in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. The study will also investigate whether a 18F-FDG PET scan performed in the middle of the course of radiation treatment can predict if lung cancer will respond to standard therapy.
Information obtained from this study may help doctors design future studies to take advantage of a low oxygen supply to tumor tissue and improve outcomes in lung cancer patients. For example, patients found to have hypoxia may receive more aggressive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. There are also special anticancer drugs designed to become activated in a low-oxygen environment.