Alessio Rizzo1, Manuela Racca1, Federico Garrou2, Elisabetta Fenocchio3, Luca Pellegrino4, Domenico Albano5, Francesco Dondi5, Francesco Bertagna5, Salvatore Annunziata6, Giorgio Treglia7,8,9


Various papers have introduced the use of positron emission tomography (PET) with [68Ga]Ga-radiolabeled fibroblast-activation protein inhibitor (FAPi) radiopharmaceuticals in different subtypes of gastric cancer (GC). Our aim was to assess the diagnostic performance of this novel molecular imaging technique in GC with a systematic review and meta-analysis. A straightforward literature search of papers concerning the diagnostic performance of FAP-targeted PET imaging was performed. Original articles evaluating this novel molecular imaging examination in both newly diagnosed GC patients and GC patients with disease relapse were included. The systematic review included nine original studies, and eight of them were also eligible for meta-analysis. The quantitative synthesis provided pooled detection rates of 95% and 97% for the assessment of primary tumor and distant metastases, respectively, and a pooled sensitivity and specificity of 74% and 89%, respectively, for regional lymph node metastases. Significant statistical heterogeneity among the included studies was found only in the analysis of the primary tumor detection rate (I2 = 64%). Conclusions: Beyond the limitations of this systematic review and meta-analysis (i.e., all the included studies were conducted in Asia, and using [18F]FDG PET/CT as a comparator of the index test), the quantitative data provided demonstrate the promising diagnostic performance of FAP-targeted PET imaging in GC. Nevertheless, more prospective multicentric studies are needed to confirm the excellent performances of FAP-targeted PET in this cluster of patients.