Published online May 28, 2016. doi: 10.5319/wjo.v6.i2.23
Peer-review started: August 27, 2015
First decision: September 28, 2015
Revised: November 9, 2015
Accepted: March 17, 2016
Article in press: March 18, 2016
Published online: May 28, 2016
Core tip: In the pre-treatment phase, positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) is valuable in the evaluation of patients with carcinoma of unknown primary origin, detection of synchronous second primary tumor, staging of cervical lymph node metastasis and assessment for distant metastases. In the post-treatment phase, PET/CT is helpful in evaluating treatment response, detecting residual or recurrent tumor and excluding distant metastases. Prognostic factors derived from PET/CT metabolic and functional data are useful in predicting tumor aggressiveness with implication on patient’s survivability, and facilitate selection of treatment modality and personalized treatment options.