18F-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (18F-DOPA) is a labeled amino-acid analog used for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging. Its increased uptake in brain tumours is related to the over-expression of the amino-acid transporter LAT1 in tumour cells and their vasculature 1) 2) 3)
Fluorodopa PET scanning is a valid method for assessing the functional state of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway. It is particularly useful for studies requiring repeated measures such as examinations of the course of a disease and the effect of treatment
18F-FDOPA PET has a significant impact on the management of patients with a suspicion of brain tumor recurrence, either glioblastoma or brain metastases, but a low impact when used to evaluate the residual glioblastoma infiltration after a first-line radiochemotherapy or second-line bevacizumab 4).
A pilot study shows that in diffuse Grade II-III gliomas, a high 18F-FDOPA uptake would be predictive of low tumour growth, with a different prognostic significance than IDH mutation. Advances in knowledge: 18F-FDOPA PET in a single session imaging could have prognostic value in initial diagnosis of diffuse Grade II-III gliomas 5).