BACKGROUNDIn patients with metastatic melanoma and KIT amplifications and/or mutations, therapy with imatinib mesylate may prolong survival. 18F-labeled 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT may be used to assess metabolic response. We investigated associations of metabolic response, mutational status, progression-free survival and overall survival in this population.METHODSBaseline and 4-week follow-up 18F-FDG-PET/CT were evaluated in 17 patients with metastatic melanoma and KIT amplifications and/or mutations treated with imatinib in a multicenter phase II clinical trial. The maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were measured in up to 10 lesions on each scan. Metabolic response was classified using modified EORTC criteria. Each patient had a diagnostic CT or MR at baseline, after 6 weeks of therapy and then at intervals of 2 months and anatomic response was classified using RECIST 1.0. Median follow-up was 9.8 months.RESULTSPartial metabolic response (PMR), stable metabolic disease (SMD) and progressive metabolic disease (PMD) was seen in 5 (29%), 5 (29%), and 7 (41%) patients respectively. Five patients (29%) had a KIT mutation in exon 11, four of whom (80%) had PMR while 1 (20%) had SMD. Twelve patients (71%) did not have a KIT mutation in exon 11, and only 1 (8%) had PMR, 4 (33%) had SMD and 7 (58%) had PMD. There was agreement of metabolic and anatomic classification in 12 of 17 patients (71%). Four of 17 patients (24%) had PR on both metabolic and anatomic imaging and all had a KIT mutation in exon 11. Survival of patients with PMD was lower than with SMD or PMR.CONCLUSIONSMetabolic response by 18F-FDG-PET/CT is associated with mutational status in metastatic melanoma patients treated with imatinib. 18F-FDG-PET/CT may be a predictor of outcome, although a larger study is needed to verify this.CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATIONNCT00424515.