Clinical Focus

  • Nuclear Medicine
  • Diagnostic Radiology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Modality Director, Nuclear Medicine (2020 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Fellowship: Stanford University Radiology Fellowships (2015) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Medicine (2015)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Radiology, Radiology (2015)
  • Residency: UCSD Radiology Residency (2014) CA
  • Internship: University of Massachusetts Internal Medicine Residency (2009) MA
  • PhD, California Institute of Technology, Computation and Neural Systems (2007)
  • Medical Education: Tehran University of Medical Sciences (2000) Iran

Clinical Trials

  • A Pilot Study of 68Ga PSMA 11 PET/MRI and 68Ga RM2 PET/MRI for Biopsy Guidance in Patients With Suspected Prostate Cancer Recruiting

    The objective of the study is to evaluate 68Ga PSMA 11 PET/MRI and 68Ga RM2 PET/MRI for biopsy guidance in patients with suspected prostate cancer.

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  • Detection of Integrin avb6 in IPF, PSC, and COVID19 Using PET/CT Recruiting

    Detection of Integrin avb6 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, and Coronavirus Disease 2019 with [18F]FP-R01-MG-F2 with PET/CT

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All Publications

  • Clinical Applications of PET/MR Imaging. Radiologic clinics of North America Moradi, F., Iagaru, A., McConathy, J. 2021; 59 (5): 853-874


    PET/MR imaging is in routine clinical use and is at least as effective as PET/CT for oncologic and neurologic studies with advantages with certain PET radiopharmaceuticals and applications. In addition, whole body PET/MR imaging substantially reduces radiation dosages compared with PET/CT which is particularly relevant to pediatric and young adult population. For cancer imaging, assessment of hepatic, pelvic, and soft-tissue malignancies may benefit from PET/MR imaging. For neurologic imaging, volumetric brain MR imaging can detect regional volume loss relevant to cognitive impairment and epilepsy. In addition, the single-bed position acquisition enables dynamic brain PET imaging without extending the total study length which has the potential to enhance the diagnostic information from PET.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.rcl.2021.05.013

    View details for PubMedID 34392923

  • Prostate cancer: Molecular imaging and MRI. European journal of radiology Moradi, F., Farolfi, A., Fanti, S., Iagaru, A. 2021; 143: 109893


    The role of molecular imaging in initial evaluation of men with presumed or established diagnosis of prostate cancer and work up of biochemical recurrence and metastatic disease is rapidly evolving due to superior diagnostic performance compared to anatomic imaging. However, variable tumor biology and expression of transmembrane proteins or metabolic alterations poses a challenge. We review the evidence and controversies with emphasis on emerging PET radiopharmaceuticals and experience on clinical utility of PET/CT and PET/MRI in diagnosis and management of prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ejrad.2021.109893

    View details for PubMedID 34391061

  • PSMA- and GRPR-targeted PET: Results from 50 Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Baratto, L., Song, H., Duan, H., Hatami, N., Bagshaw, H., Buyyounouski, M., Hancock, S., Shah, S. A., Srinivas, S., Swift, P., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G. A., Iagaru, A. 2021


    Rationale: Novel radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography (PET) are evaluated for the diagnosis of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer (BCR PC). Here, we compare the gastrin releasing peptide receptors (GRPR) - targeting 68Ga-RM2 with the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) - targeting 68Ga-PSMA11 and 18F-DCFPyL. Methods: Fifty patients had both 68Ga-RM2 PET/MRI and 68Ga-PSMA11 PET/CT (n = 23) or 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT (n = 27) at an interval ranging from 1 to 60 days (mean±SD: 15.8±17.7). Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were collected for all lesions. Results: RM2 PET was positive in 35 and negative in 15 of the 50 patients. PSMA PET was positive in 37 and negative in 13 of the 50 patients. Both scans detected 70 lesions in 32 patients. Forty-three lesions in 18 patients were identified only on one scan: 68Ga-RM2 detected 7 more lesions in 4 patients, while PSMA detected 36 more lesions in 13 patients. Conclusion: 68Ga-RM2 remains a valuable radiopharmaceutical even when compared with the more widely used 68Ga-PSMA11/18F-DCFPyL in the evaluation of BCR PC. Larger studies are needed to verify that identifying patients for whom these two classes of radiopharmaceuticals are complementary may ultimately allow for personalized medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.120.259630

    View details for PubMedID 33674398

  • Diagnostic Performance of 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT in Men with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer: Results from the CONDOR Phase 3, Multicenter Study. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research Morris, M. J., Rowe, S. P., Gorin, M. A., Saperstein, L., Pouliot, F., Josephson, D. Y., Wong, J. Y., Pantel, A. R., Cho, S. Y., Gage, K. L., Piert, M. R., Iagaru, A., Pollard, J. H., Wong, V., Jensen, J., Lin, T., Stambler, N., Carroll, P., Siegel, B. A., Wibmer, A. G., Durack, J. C., Solomon, S. B., Harb, R., Pucar, D., Sprenkle, P., Beauregard, J., Beaulieu, A., Buteau, F., Yamauchi, D., Glaser, S., Dorff, T. B., Narayan, V., Fillare, M. A., Schubert, E., Cooley, G., Morris, Z. S., Langeland, M., Pow-Sang, J. M., Yamoah, K., Alva, A. S., Reichert, Z., Spratt, D., Davidzon, G., Mari Aparici, C., Moradi, F., Tracy, C., Behr, S., Nguyen, H. G., Simko, J. P., Jennings, J. W., Michalski, J. M., Pachynski, R. K. 2021


    PURPOSE: Current FDA-approved imaging modalities are inadequate for localizing prostate cancer biochemical recurrence (BCR). 18F-DCFPyL is a highly selective, small-molecule PSMA-targeted PET radiotracer. CONDOR was a prospective study designed to determine the performance of 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT in patients with BCR and uninformative standard imaging.METHODS: Men with rising PSA {greater than or equal to}0.2 ng/mL after prostatectomy or {greater than or equal to}2 ng/mL above nadir after radiation therapy were eligible. The primary endpoint was correct localization rate (CLR) defined as positive predictive value with an additional requirement of anatomic lesion co-localization between 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT and a composite standard of truth (SOT). The SOT consisted of, in descending priority: 1) histopathology, 2) subsequent correlative imaging findings, or 3) post-radiation PSA response. The trial was considered a success if the lower bound of the 95% confidence interval for CLR exceeded 20% for 2 of 3 18F‑DCFPyL-PET/CT readers. Secondary endpoints included change in intended management and safety.RESULTS: 208 men with a median baseline PSA of 0.8 ng/mL (range: 0.2-98.4 ng/mL) underwent 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT. The CLR was 84.8%-87.0% (lower bound of 95% CI: 77.8%-80.4%). 63.9% of evaluable patients had a change in intended management after 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT. The disease detection rate was 59% to 66% (at least one lesion detected per patient by 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT by central readers).CONCLUSION: Performance of 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT achieved the study's primary endpoint, demonstrating disease localization in the setting of negative standard imaging and providing clinically meaningful and actionable information. These data further support the utility of 18F-DCFPyL-PET/CT to localize disease in men with recurrent prostate cancer.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-4573

    View details for PubMedID 33622706

  • Prognostic value of bone marrow metabolism on pretreatment 18F-FDG PET/CT in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with anti-PD-1 therapy. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Nakamoto, R., Zaba, L. C., Liang, T., Reddy, S. A., Davidzon, G., Aparici, C. M., Nguyen, J., Moradi, F., Iagaru, A., Franc, B. L. 2021


    Purpose: To investigate the prognostic value of 18F-FDG PET/CT parameters in melanoma patients before beginning anti-PD-1 therapy. Methods: Imaging parameters including SUVmax, metabolic tumor volume (MTV), and bone marrow to liver SUVmean ratio (BLR) were measured from baseline PET/CT in 92 patients before the start of anti-PD-1 therapy. Association with survival and imaging parameters combined with clinical factors was evaluated. Clinical and laboratory data between high (> median) and low (≤ median) BLR groups were compared. Results: Multivariate analyses demonstrated that BLR was an independent prognostic factor for PFS and OS (P = 0.017, P = 0.011, respectively). The high BLR group had higher levels of white blood cell count/neutrophil count and C-Reactive Protein than the low BLR group (P < 0.05). Conclusion: Patients with high BLR were associated with poor PFS and OS, potentially explained by evidence of systemic inflammation known to be associated with immunosuppression.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.120.254482

    View details for PubMedID 33547210

  • The Clinical Utility of 18F-Fluciclovine PET/CT in Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer: an Academic Center Experience Post FDA Approval. Molecular imaging and biology Nakamoto, R. n., Harrison, C. n., Song, H. n., Guja, K. E., Hatami, N. n., Nguyen, J. n., Moradi, F. n., Franc, B. L., Aparici, C. M., Davidzon, G. n., Iagaru, A. n. 2021


    To evaluate the diagnostic performance and clinical utility of 18F-fluciclovine PET/CT in patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) of prostate cancer (PC).18F-Fluciclovine scans of 165 consecutive men with BCR after primary definitive treatment with prostatectomy (n = 102) or radiotherapy (n = 63) were retrospectively evaluated. Seventy patients had concurrent imaging with at least one other conventional modality (CT (n = 31), MRI (n = 31), or bone scan (n = 26)). Findings from 18F-fluciclovine PET were compared with those from conventional imaging modalities. The positivity rate and impact of 18F-fluciclovine PET on patient management were recorded. In 33 patients who underwent at least one other PET imaging (18F-NaF PET/CT (n = 12), 68Ga-PSMA11 PET/CT (n = 5), 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT (n = 20), and 68Ga-RM2 PET/MRI (n = 5)), additional findings were evaluated.The overall positivity rate of 18F-fluciclovine PET was 67 %, which, as expected, increased with higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels (ng/ml): 15 % (PSA < 0.5), 50 % (0.5 ≤ PSA < 1), 56 % (1 ≤ PSA < 2), 68 % (2 ≤ PSA < 5), and 94 % (PSA ≥ 5), respectively. One hundred and two patients (62 %) had changes in clinical management based on 18F-fluciclovine PET findings. Twelve of these patients (12 %) had lesion localization on 18F-fluciclovine PET, despite negative conventional imaging. Treatment plans of 14 patients with negative 18F-fluciclovine PET were changed based on additional PET imaging with a different radiopharmaceutical.18F-Fluciclovine PET/CT remains a useful diagnostic tool in the workup of patients with BCR PC, changing clinical management in 62 % of participants in our cohort.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-021-01583-3

    View details for PubMedID 33469884

  • Positron Emission Tomography and Molecular Imaging of Head and Neck Malignancies CURRENT RADIOLOGY REPORTS Moradi, F. 2020; 8 (11)
  • The Role of Positron Emission Tomography in Pancreatic Cancer and Gallbladder Cancer. Seminars in nuclear medicine Moradi, F., Iagaru, A. 2020; 50 (5): 434–46


    18F-FDG-PET is complementary to conventional imaging in patients with clinical suspicion for exocrine pancreatic malignancies. It has similar if not superior sensitivity and specificity for detection of cancer, and when combined with contrast enhanced anatomic imaging of the abdomen, can improve diagnostic accuracy and aid in staging, assessment for resectability, radiation therapy planning, and prognostication. Various metabolic pathways affect FDG uptake in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The degree of uptake reflects histopathology, aggressiveness, metastatic potential, and metabolic profile of malignant cell and their interaction with cancer stroma. After treatment, FDG-PET is useful for detection of residual or recurrent cancer and can be used to assess and monitor response to therapy in unresectable or metastatic disease. The degree and pattern of uptake combined with other imaging features are useful in characterization of incidental pancreatic lesions and benign processes such as inflammation. Several novel PET radiopharmaceuticals have been developed to improve detection and management of pancreatic cancer. Gallbladder carcinoma is typically FDG avid and when anatomic imaging is equivocal PET can be used to assess metastatic involvement with high specificity and inform subsequent management.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semnuclmed.2020.04.002

    View details for PubMedID 32768007

  • Imaging Characteristics and Diagnostic Performance of 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-Glucose PET/CT for Melanoma Patients Who Demonstrate Hyperprogressive Disease When Treated with Immunotherapy. Molecular imaging and biology Nakamoto, R., C Zaba, L., Rosenberg, J., Arani Reddy, S., W Nobashi, T., Ferri, V., Davidzon, G., Mari Aparici, C., Nguyen, J., Moradi, F., Iagaru, A., Lewis Franc, B. 2020


    PURPOSE: We investigated the ability of baseline 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-D-glucose PET/CT parameters, acquired before the start of immunotherapy, to predict development of hyperprogressive disease (HPD) in melanoma patients. We also evaluated the diagnostic performances of ratios of baseline and first restaging PET/CT parameters to diagnose HPD without information of the tumor growth kinetic ratio (TGKR) that requires pre-baseline imaging before baseline imaging (3 timepoint imaging).PROCEDURES: Seventy-six patients who underwent PET/CT before and approximately 3months following initiation of immunotherapy were included. PET/CT parameters, including metabolic tumor volume (MTV) for all melanoma lesions and total measured tumor burden (TMTB) based on irRECIST, were measured from baseline PET/CT (MTVbase and TMTBbase) and first restaging PET/CT (MTVpost and TMTBpost). The ratios of MTV (MTVpost/MTVbase, MTVr) and TMTB (TMTBpost/TMTBbase, TMTBr) were calculated.RESULTS: MTVbase of HPD patients (n=9, TGKR ≥2) was larger than that of non-HPD (n=67, TGKR <2) patients (P<0.05), and HPD patients demonstrated shorter median overall survival (7 vs. more than 60months, P<0.05). The area under the curve (AUC) of MTVbase (≥155.5ml) to predict the risk of HPD was 0.703, with a sensitivity of 66.7% and specificity of 81.2%. The AUCs of MTVr (≥1.25) and TMTBr (≥1.27) to diagnose HPD without information of TGKR were 0.875 and 0.977 with both sensitivities of 100%, and specificities of 79% and 83.9%, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: Patients at high risk of developing HPD could not be accurately identified based on baseline PET/CT parameters. The ratios of baseline and first restaging PET/CT parameters may be helpful to diagnose HPD, when patients do not undergo pre-baseline imaging.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11307-020-01526-4

    View details for PubMedID 32789649

  • Will FAPI PET/CT Replace FDG PET/CT in the Next Decade?-Counterpoint: No, not so fast! AJR. American journal of roentgenology Moradi, F., Iagaru, A. 2020


    This article does not include an abstract. Please see the accompanying Point by Jeremie Calais and Christine E. Mona.

    View details for DOI 10.2214/AJR.20.23794

    View details for PubMedID 32755204

  • A prospective study of Ga-68-RM2 PET/MRI in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer and negative conventional imaging. Baratto, L., Song, H., Duan, H., Aparici, C., Davidzon, G., Moradi, F., Srinivas, S., Iagaru, A. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2020
  • Prospective evaluation of F-18-DCFPyL PET/CT in biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: Analysis of lesion localization and distribution. Song, H., Duan, H., Harrison, C., Guja, K., Hatami, N., Franc, B., Moradi, F., Aparici, C., Davidzon, G., Srinivas, S., Iagaru, A. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2020
  • Perfusion Scintigraphy in Diagnosis and Management of Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension. Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc Moradi, F. n., Morris, T. A., Hoh, C. K. ; 39 (1): 169–85


    Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) is a life-threatening complication of acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Because the treatment of CTEPH is markedly different from that of other types of pulmonary hypertension, lung ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scintigraphy is recommended for the workup of patients with unexplained pulmonary hypertension. Lung V/Q scintigraphy is superior to CT pulmonary angiography for detecting CTEPH. Perfusion defect findings of CTEPH can be different from those of acute PE. Familiarity with the patterns of perfusion defects seen during the initial workup of CTEPH and the expected posttreatment changes seen at follow-up imaging is essential for accurate interpretation of V/Q scintigraphy findings. ©RSNA, 2019.

    View details for DOI 10.1148/rg.2019180074

    View details for PubMedID 30620694

  • Extrahepatic Ga-68-DOTATATE-Avid Tumor Volume and serum Chromogranin A Predict Short-Term Outcome of Lu-177-DOTATATE in Late-Stage Metastatic Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors Song, H., Kunz, P., Franc, B., Moradi, F., Fisher, G., Aparici, C., Iagaru, A., Davidzon, G. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2020
  • Ga-68-PSMA-11 PET/MR Imaging before prostatectomy: correlation with surgical pathology and two-year follow up Moradi, F., Baratto, L., Duan, H., Hatami, N., Davidzon, G., Sonn, G., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2020
  • PSMA-and GRPR-targeted PET: Preliminary Results in Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer Baratto, L., Duan, H., Hatami, N., Song, H., Davidzon, G., Franc, B., Aparici, C., Moradi, F., Nguyen, J., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2020
  • Prognostic value of volumetric PET parameters at early response evaluation in melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy Nakamoto, R., Zaba, L., Rosenberg, J., Reddy, S., Nobashi, T., Davidzon, G., Aparici, C., Nguyen, J., Moradi, F., Iagaru, A., Franc, B. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2020
  • Imaging characteristics and diagnostic performance of F-18-FDG PET/CT for melanoma patients who demonstrate hyperprogressive disease when treated with immunotherapy Nakamoto, R., Zaba, L., Rosenberg, J., Reddy, S., Nobashi, T., Davidzon, G., Aparici, C., Nguyen, J., Moradi, F., Iagaru, A., Franc, B. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2020
  • Toxicity identification and evaluation of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) for neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) Duan, H., Girod, B., Ninatti, G., Ferri, V., Kunz, P., Fisher, G., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G., Franc, B., Iagaru, A., Aparici, C. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2020
  • Prevalence of Bone Metastases in Neuroendocrine Neoplasms by 68Ga DOTATATE PET Scan Shaheen, S., Gardner, R., Sundaram, V., Hornbacker, K., Moradi, F., Wu, J., Kunz, P. LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS. 2020: 486
  • Fungal endocarditis resembling primary cardiac malignancy in a patient with B-cell ALL with culture confirmation. Radiology case reports Girod, B. J., Guja, K. E., Davidzon, G., Chan, F., Zucker, E., Franc, B. L., Moradi, F., Iagaru, A., Aparici, C. M. 2020; 15 (2): 117–19


    Fungal endocarditis is a rare subtype of infective endocarditis that often presents with nonspecific symptoms in patients with complex medical histories, making diagnosis challenging. Patients with a history of ALL may present with congestive heart failure, chemo-induced cardiomyopathy, acute coronary syndrome, cardiac lymphomatous metastasis, or infections. We present the case of a patient with a history of ALL who presented with acute coronary syndrome and imaging concerning for primary cardiac lymphoma, when in fact the patient ended up suffering from culture proven fungal endocarditis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radcr.2019.10.022

    View details for PubMedID 31768196

  • Single institution experience with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) in neuroendocrine tumors (NET) Duan, H., Ninatti, G., Girod, B., Ferri, V., Kunz, P. L., Fisher, G. A., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G., Franc, B., Iagaru, A., Mari, C. AMER SOC CLINICAL ONCOLOGY. 2020
  • Quantification of brain oxygen extraction and metabolism with [15O]-gas PET: A technical review in the era of PET/MRI. NeuroImage Fan, A. P., An, H. n., Moradi, F. n., Rosenberg, J. n., Ishii, Y. n., Nariai, T. n., Okazawa, H. n., Zaharchuk, G. n. 2020: 117136


    Oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) and the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) are key cerebral physiological parameters to identify at-risk cerebrovascular patients and understand brain health and function. PET imaging with [15O]-oxygen tracers, either through continuous or bolus inhalation, provides non-invasive assessment of OEF and CMRO2. Numerous tracer delivery, PET acquisition, and kinetic modeling approaches have been adopted to map brain oxygenation. The purpose of this technical review is to critically evaluate different methods for [15O]-gas PET and its impact on the accuracy and reproducibility of OEF and CMRO2 measurements. We perform a meta-analysis of brain oxygenation PET studies in healthy volunteers and compare between continuous and bolus inhalation techniques. We also describe OEF metrics that have been used to detect hemodynamic impairment in cerebrovascular disease. For these patients, advanced techniques to accelerate the PET scans and potential synthesis with MRI to avoid arterial blood sampling would facilitate broader use of [15O]-oxygen PET for brain physiological assessment.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117136

    View details for PubMedID 32634594

  • Patient Selection and Toxicities of PRRT for Metastatic Neuroendocrine Tumors and Research Opportunities. Current treatment options in oncology Shaheen, S. n., Moradi, F. n., Gamino, G. n., Kunz, P. L. 2020; 21 (4): 25


    Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a heterogenous group of neoplasms characterized by varied biological hallmarks and behavior, ranging from indolent to aggressive. For many decades, somatostatin analogues and few targeted therapies were available for NETs and these therapies had minimal response rates. However, there have been a number of recent treatment advances. Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) is a novel approach to treatment of NETs and has changed the landscape of treatment for NETs. It is a form of targeted therapy in which a radiolabeled somatostatin analogue delivers radiation specifically to tumor cells expressing the somatostatin receptor.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11864-020-0711-9

    View details for PubMedID 32172368

  • An unusual presentation of recurrent T cell lymphoma: angiocentric pattern of cutaneous uptake on [18F]FDG PET/CT. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Guja, K. E., Brown, R. n., Girod, B. n., Song, H. n., Harrison, C. n., Franc, B. L., Moradi, F. n., Davidzon, G. n., Iagaru, A. n., Aparici, C. M. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-020-05026-z

    View details for PubMedID 32918110

  • Prognostic value of volumetric PET parameters at early response evaluation in melanoma patients treated with immunotherapy. European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Nakamoto, R. n., Zaba, L. C., Rosenberg, J. n., Reddy, S. A., Nobashi, T. W., Davidzon, G. n., Aparici, C. M., Nguyen, J. n., Moradi, F. n., Iagaru, A. n., Franc, B. L. 2020


    The purpose of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of whole-body metabolic tumor volume (MTV) and other metabolic tumor parameters, obtained from baseline and first restaging 18F-FDG PET/CT scans in melanoma patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).Eighty-five consecutive melanoma patients (M, 57; F, 28) treated with ICIs who underwent PET/CT scans before and approximately 3 months after the start of immunotherapy were retrospectively enrolled. Metabolic tumor parameters including MTV for all melanoma lesions were measured on each scan. A Cox proportional hazards model was used for univariate and multivariate analyses of metabolic parameters combined with known clinical prognostic factors associated with overall survival (OS). Kaplan-Meier curves for patients dichotomized based on median values of imaging parameters were generated.The median OS time in all patients was 45 months (95% CI 24-45 months). Univariate analysis demonstrated that MTV obtained from first restaging PET/CT scans (MTVpost) was the strongest prognostic factor for OS among PET/CT parameters (P < 0.0001). The median OS in patients with high MTVpost (≥ 23.44) was 16 months (95% CI 12-32 months) as compared with more than 60 months in patients with low MTVpost (< 23.44) (P = 0.0003). A multivariate model including PET/CT parameters and known clinical prognostic factors revealed that MTVpost and the presence of central nervous system lesions were independent prognostic factors for OS (P = 0.0004, 0.0167, respectively). One pseudoprogression case (1.2%) was seen in this population and classified into the high MTVpost group.Whole-body metabolic tumor volume from PET scan acquired approximately 3 months following initiation of immunotherapy (MTVpost) is a strong prognostic indicator of OS in melanoma patients. Although the possibility of pseudoprogression must be considered whenever evaluating first restaging PET imaging, it only occurred in 1 patient in our cohort.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-020-04792-0

    View details for PubMedID 32296882

  • Prospective Evaluation in an Academic Center of 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT in Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer: A Focus on Localizing Disease and Changes in Management. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Song, H., Harrison, C., Duan, H., Guja, K., Hatami, N., Franc, B., Moradi, F., Mari Aparici, C., Davidzon, G., Iagaru, A. 2019


    18F-DCFPyL is a promising PET radiopharmaceutical targeting prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA). We present our experience in this single academic center prospective study evaluating the positivity rate of 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT in patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR) of prostate cancer (PC). Methods: We prospectively enrolled 72 men (52-91 years old, mean±SD: 71.5±7.2) with BCR after primary definitive treatment with prostatectomy (n = 42) or radiotherapy (n = 30). The presence of lesions compatible with PC was evaluated by two independent readers. Fifty-nine patients had concurrent scans with at least one other conventional scan: bone scan (24), CT (21), MR (20), 18F-Fluciclovine PET/CT (18) and/or 18F-NaF PET (14). Findings from 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT were compared with those from other modalities. Impact on patient management based on 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT was recorded from clinical chart review. Results: 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT had an overall positivity rate of 85%, which increased with higher prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels (ng/mL): 50% (PSA<0.5), 69% (0.5≤PSA<1), 100% (1≤PSA<2), 91% (2≤PSA<5) and 96% (PSA≥5), respectively. 18F-DCFPyL PET detected more lesions than conventional imaging. For anatomic imaging, 20/41 (49%) CT/MRI had congruent findings with 18F-DCFPyL, while 18F-DCFPyL PET was positive in 17/41 (41%) cases with negative CT/MRI. For bone imaging, 26/38 (68%) bone scan/18F-NaF PET were congruent with 18F-DCFPyL PET, while 18F-DCFPyL PET localized bone lesions in 8/38 (21%) patients with negative bone scan/18F-NaF PET. In 8/18 (44%) patients, 18F-Fluciclovine PET had located the same lesions as the 18F-DCFPyL PET, while 5/18 (28%) patients with negative 18F-Fluciclovine had positive 18F-DCFPyL PET findings and 1/18 (6%) patient with negative 18F-DCFPyL had uptake in the prostate bed on 18F-Fluciclovine PET. In the remaining 4/18 (22%) patients, 18F-DCFPyL and 18F-Fluciclovine scans showed different lesions. Lastly, 43/72 (60%) patients had treatment changes after 18F-DCFPyL PET and, most noticeably, 17 of these patients (24% total) had lesion localization only on 18F-DCFPyL PET, despite negative conventional imaging. Conclusion: 18F-DCFPyL PET/CT is a promising diagnostic tool in the work-up of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer given the high positivity rate as compared to FDA-approved currently available imaging modalities and its impact on clinical management in 60% of patients.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.119.231654

    View details for PubMedID 31628216

  • Prospective Evaluation of F-18-DCFPyL PET/CT and Conventional Imaging in Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer Song, H., Harrison, C., Guja, K., Franc, B., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G., Aparici, C., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2019
  • Prospective evaluation of F-18- DCFPyL in Patients with Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer: Positivity Rate and Correlation with PSA levels Harrison, C., Song, H., Franc, B. L., Guja, K., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G., Aparici, C., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2019
  • Prospective Comparison of F-18-DCFPyL PET/CT with F-18-NaF PET/CT for Detection of Skeletal Metastases in Biochemically Recurrent Prostate Cancer Duan, H., Song, H., Baratto, L., Khalaf, M., Hatami, N., Franc, B., Moradi, F., Davidzon, G., Aparici, C., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2019
  • Quantification of uptake in Ga-68-DOTATATE PET: Correlation between standardized uptake values and patient factors Moradi, F., Guja, K., Aparici, C., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2019
  • Glucose-corrected standardized uptake value (SUVgluc) is the most accurate SUV parameter for evaluation of pulmonary nodules AMERICAN JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING Jahromi, A., Moradi, F., Hoh, C. K. 2019; 9 (5): 243–47


    Standardized uptake values (SUVs) of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET) are widely used to help characterize pulmonary nodules. The purpose of this study is to assess the accuracy of the SUV corrected by blood glucose levels (SUVgluc), compared to four other commonly used semi-quantitative methods: maximal SUV normalized to body weight (SUVmax), ratio of SUV of nodule to cerebellum (SUVcer), SUV normalized to body surface area (SUVbsa) and SUV normalized to body mass index (SUVbmi). 52 patients with lung nodules had FDG PET scans, consecutively imaged between 7/1/2015 and 6/7/2016. Histopathologic result of the nodules, obtained within two months after the FDG PET scan, demonstrated 10 benign and 42 malignant lung nodules. The SUVgluc was defined as SUVmax × blood glucose level/100. The average SUVmax was 2.8 for benign nodules and 7.7 for malignant nodules. No significant difference in the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curves (AUCs) were found between the SUVmax (0.84) and the SUVcer (0.87) or SUVbsa (0.86), or SUVbmi (0.86) with p-values greater than 0.05; however, the ROC AUC for the SUVgluc (0.90) was larger than that for the SUVmax with p-value of 0.03. These results suggest that SUVgluc may assist in more accurately representing the glucose metabolism of malignant lung nodules by accounting for the patient's blood glucose level (BGL). The simplicity of the SUVgluc method avoids an additional reference ROI, uses preexisting clinical data, i.e. pre-injection blood glucose level, and retains the familiar SUV reference values.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000496541100004

    View details for PubMedID 31772822

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6872475

  • Comparison of three interpretation criteria of 68Ga-PSMA11 PET based on inter- and intra-reader agreement. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine Toriihara, A. n., Nobashi, T. n., Baratto, L. n., Duan, H. n., Moradi, F. n., Park, S. n., Hatami, N. n., Aparici, C. n., Davidzon, G. n., Iagaru, A. n. 2019


    Positron emission tomography (PET) using radiolabeled prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is now more and more widely adopted as a valuable tool to evaluate patients with prostate cancer (PC). Recently, three different criteria for interpretation of PSMA PET were published: European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) criteria, prostate cancer molecular imaging standardized evaluation (PROMISE) criteria, and PSMA-reporting and data system (PSMA-RADS). We compared these three criteria in terms of inter-reader, intra-reader, and inter-criteria agreement. Methods: Data from 104 patients prospectively enrolled in research protocols at our institution were retrospectively reviewed. The cohort consisted of two groups: 47 patients (mean age: 64.2 years old) who underwent Glu-NH-CO-NH-Lys-(Ahx)-[68Ga(HBED-CC)] (68Ga-PSMA11) PET/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for initial staging of biopsy-proven intermediate- or high-risk PC, and 57 patients (mean age: 70.5 years old) who underwent 68Ga-PSMA11 PET/computed tomography (CT) due to biochemically recurrent (BCR) PC. Three nuclear medicine physicians independently evaluated all 68Ga-PSMA11 PET/MRI and PET/CT studies according to the three interpretation criteria. Two of them reevaluated all studies 6 months later in the same manner and blinded to the initial reading. Gwet's AC was calculated to evaluate inter- and intra-reader, and inter-criteria agreement based on the following sites: local lesion (primary tumor or prostate bed after radical prostatectomy), lymph node metastases, and other metastases. Results: In the PET/MRI group, inter-reader, intra-reader, and inter-criteria agreements were substantial to almost perfect in any sites according to all of the three criteria. In the PET/CT group, inter-reader agreement was substantial to almost perfect except judgement of distant metastases based on PSMA-RADS (Gwet's AC = 0.57, moderate agreement), in which the most frequent cause of disagreement was lung nodules. Intra-reader agreements were substantial to almost perfect in any sites according to all of the three criteria. Inter-criteria agreements of each site were also substantial to almost perfect. Conclusion: Although the three published criteria have good inter-reader and intra-reader reproducibility in evaluating 68Ga-PSMA11 PET, there are factors bringing inter-reader disagreement. This indicates that further work is needed to address the issue.

    View details for DOI 10.2967/jnumed.119.232504

    View details for PubMedID 31562226

  • Spectrum of Ga-68-DOTA TATE Uptake in Patients With Neuroendocrine Tumors CLINICAL NUCLEAR MEDICINE Moradi, F., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Schneider, B., Chin, F., Quon, A., Mittra, E. S., Iagaru, A. 2016; 41 (6): E281-E287


    To analyze the biodistribution of Ga-DOTA-TATE in the normal tissues and uptake in benign, indeterminate, and malignant lesions in a population of patients with known neuroendocrine tumors (NET) using semiquantitative standardized uptake values (SUV) measurements.One hundred four consecutively scanned patients (51 men and 53 women; mean age, 56.4 years) with confirmed diagnosis of NET underwent PET/CT 1 hour after administration of Ga-DOTA-TATE. SUVmean, and SUVmax were measured in 37 normal anatomical structures for each patient. Abnormal uptake was divided into benign, indeterminate, and malignant categories based on imaging characteristic, clinical follow-up, and pathology.High physiologic uptake (SUVmax > 7) was observed in spleen, renal parenchyma, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, stomach, and liver (in decreasing order). Moderate uptake (3.5-7) was present in the prostate, jejunum, pancreas, ileum, and salivary glands. Mild uptake (2-3.5) was present in the uterus, colon, thyroid, rectum, and skeleton. A total of 678 lesions (limited to 5 lesions with highest uptake per organ) were included in the analysis, including 127 benign and 54 indeterminate lesions. Uptake was significantly higher in malignant lesions than in benign lesions, but an overlap was noted between the groups.Ga-DOTA TATE uptake in normal and abnormal structures is highly variable in patients with NET. SUV is a useful measure for characterizing benign versus malignant lesions. Anatomical and clinical correlation may be necessary to characterize foci of intermediate uptake.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/RLU.0000000000001100

    View details for Web of Science ID 000376886800003

    View details for PubMedID 26673240

  • Physiological distribution of Ga-68-DOTA-TATE: an atlas of standardized uptake values Moradi, F., Minamimoto, R., Jamali, M., Barkhodari, A., Quon, A., Mittra, E., Gambhir, S., Iagaru, A. SOC NUCLEAR MEDICINE INC. 2015