An international team of researchers, led by scientists from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) and the Medical University of Vienna, has published the world’s first standardized criteria for imaging diffuse gliomas using amino acid PET. These criteria, known as PET RANO 1.0, have been introduced to address the limitations of conventional MRI in examining highly malignant brain tumors called diffuse gliomas.

Diffuse gliomas have historically been difficult to assess with MRI scans. Amino acid PET scans, which utilize specialized tracers based on proteins, offer improved accuracy in visualizing the activity and extent of these brain tumors.

Led by Nathalie Albert, PhD, of LMU and Matthias Preusser, MD, of the Medical University of Vienna, the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) Working Group has devised pioneering criteria. This international, multidisciplinary consortium, formed over the last decade, aims to establish standardized response criteria for brain tumor clinical studies. These criteria are on track to become the industry standard for evaluating diffuse glioma treatment outcomes.

 “PET imaging with radioactively labeled amino acids has proven extremely valuable in neuro-oncology and permits reliable representation of the activity and extension of gliomas,” Albert says. “Although amino acid PET has been used for years, it had not been evaluated in a structured manner before now. In contrast to MRI-based diagnostics, there have been no criteria for interpreting these PET images.”

The introduction of PET RANO 1.0 now provides a structured framework for utilizing PET scans in clinical studies and routine clinical practice, researchers say.