• nasopharyngeal carcinoma;
  • induction chemotherapy;
  • chemosensitivity;
  • technetium-99m methoxyisobutyl isonitrile



The authors prospectively evaluated the correlation between technetium-99m methoxyisobutyl isonitrile (99mTc-MIBI) accumulation in tumors and response to induction chemotherapy in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).


Eighty-six patients with locally advanced NPC underwent single-photon emission computed tomography 15 minutes after an intravenous injection of 740 megabecquerels (20 mCi) 99mTc-MIBI before chemotherapy. The tumor uptake ratio (TUR) was calculated. Two weeks after the second cycle of combined chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin (DDP), the tumor response rate was evaluated. The correlation between 99mTc-MIBI accumulation in tumors and response to chemotherapy with 5-FU/DDP was examined.


Positive accumulation of 99mTc-MIBI in tumors was observed in 76 patients (88.4%). The tumor response was a complete response (CR) in 8 patients, a partial response (PR) in 68 patients, stable disease (SD) in 9 patients, and progressive disease (PD) in 1 patient. The response rate (CR and PR) to 5-FU/DDP chemotherapy in patients who had positive 99mTc-MIBI accumulation (tumor uptake ratio [TUR] >1.1) was higher than that in patients who had negative 99mTc-MIBI accumulation (TUR ≤1.1; 98.7% vs 10%; P < .001).


Patients with negative 99mTc-MIBI accumulation were resistant to 5-FU/DDP chemotherapy. 99mTc-MIBI imaging in patients with NPC was capable of predicting tumor response to chemotherapy with 5-FU/DDP and can help in the selection of patients for induction chemotherapy. Cancer 2011. © 2010 American Cancer Society.