Current research topics in FAPI theranostics: a bibliometric analysis

Andor F. van den Hoven*, Ruth G.M. Keijsers, Marnix G.E.H. Lam, Andor W.J.M. Glaudemans, Frederik A. Verburg, Wouter V. Vogel, Jules Lavalaye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The study aimed to provide a comprehensive bibliometric overview of the current scientific publications on fibroblast activation protein inhibitor (FAPI) positron emission tomography imaging and radionuclide therapy. Methods: A PubMed search was performed to identify all MEDLINE-indexed publications on FAPI imaging and radionuclide therapy. The last update was performed on 31 May 2022. An online database of this literature was created, and hierarchical topic-related tags were subsequently assigned to all relevant studies. Frequency analysis was used to evaluate the distribution of the following characteristics: first author’s country of origin, journal of publication, study design, imaging techniques and radiopharmaceutical used, histopathological correlation, the type of cancer, and benign disease/uptake types evaluated. Results: A total of 294 relevant publications on original studies were identified, consisting of 209 (71%) case reports/series and 85 cohort studies (29%). The majority of studies focused on imaging topics, predominantly comparing uptake on FAPI-PET/CT with 2-[18F]FDG-PET/CT, anatomical imaging, and/or histopathology results. 68% of studies focused on malignancies, with gastro-intestinal cancer, hepato-pancreato-biliary cancer, mixed cancers/metastases, lung cancer, sarcoma, head and neck cancer, and breast cancer being the most frequently reported. 42% of studies focused on benign disease categories, with cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, HPB, head and neck, and IgG4-related disease as most common categories. 16/294 (5%) studies focused on radionuclide therapy, with preliminary reports of acceptable toxicity profiles, tumour activity retention, and suggestion of disease control. Conclusion: FAPI research is rapidly expanding from diagnostic studies in malignancies and benign diseases to the first reports of salvage radionuclide therapy. The research activity needs to shift now from low-level-of-evidence case reports and series to prospectively designed studies in homogenous patient groups to provide evidence on how and in which clinical situations FAPI theranostics can be of added value to clinical care. We have provided an overview of current research topics to build upon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014–1027
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number4
Early online date28 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022.


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