PET Imaging of Tumor Hypoxia in Head and Neck Cancer: A Primer for Neuroradiologists

Head and Neck Cancer

Khan R and Seltzer M. Neuroimaging Clin N Am 2020 - Review.


Tumor hypoxia is a known independent prognostic factor for adverse patient outcomes in those with head and neck cancer. Areas of tumor hypoxia have been found to be more radiation resistant than areas of tumor with normal oxygenation levels. Hypoxia imaging may serve to help identify the best initial treatment option and to assess intratreatment monitoring of tumor response in case treatment changes can be made. PET imaging is the gold standard method for imaging tumor hypoxia, with

18F-fluoromisonidazole the most extensively studied hypoxic imaging tracer. Newer tracers also show promise.