OBJECTIVE : Although hematological toxicities (HT) are the leading adverse events of systemic chemotherapy, the estimation of severe HT is challenging. Recently, 3'-deoxy-3'-[18F]-fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) accumulation with PET has been considered a biomarker of the cell proliferation. This study aims to elucidate whether the vertebral accumulation of 18F-FLT could estimate severe HT during platinum-doublet chemotherapy. METHODS : In this Institutional Review Board-approved retrospective study, 50 patients with primary lung cancer underwent 18F-FLT PET scan before platinum-doublet chemotherapy. We evaluated the standardized uptake value, total vertebral proliferation (TVP), and TVP/body surface area (TVP/BSA) of the vertebral body (Th4, Th8, Th12, and L4), and then the associations between those parameters and frequency of severe HT during platinum-doublet chemotherapy were assessed. RESULTS : Severe HT (grade 3/4) was observed in 40.0% of patients during the first cycle. The ROC curve analyses revealed that the TVP/BSA of L4 was the most discriminative parameter among PET parameters for the prediction of severe HT. The multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed the TVP/BSA of L4 (odds ratio [OR], 0.94; p = 0.0036) and the frequency of the grade 3/4 hematological toxicity in previous clinical trials (OR, 1.03; p = 0.023) were independent predictors. Furthermore, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the TVP/BSA of L4 cut-off of 68.7 to predict grade 3/4 HT were 80.0%, 86.7%, and 84.0%, respectively. A low TVP/BSA of L4 (< 68.7) as a binary variable was a significant indicator of severe HT (OR, 26.0; p = 0.000026). CONCLUSIONS : The low 18F-FLT uptake in the lower vertebral body is a predictor of severe HT in patients with lung cancer who receive platinum-doublet chemotherapy. BACKGROUND : Trial registration: UMIN000027540 KEY POINTS: • The vertebral 18 F-FLT uptake with PET is an independent predictor of the severe hematological toxicity during the first cycle of platinum-doublet chemotherapy. • The 18 F-FLT uptake in L4 vertebral body estimated hematological toxicities better than that in the upper vertebra (Th4, Th8, and Th12). • The evaluation of the amount and activity of hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow cavity using 18 F-FLT PET imaging could provide predictive data of severe hematological toxicities and help determine an appropriate drug combination or dose intensity in patients with advanced malignant diseases.