18F-FLT PET During Radiotherapy or Chemoradiotherapy in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Is an Early Predictor of Outcome
SourceThe Journal of Nuclear Medicine (1978), 54, 4, (2013), pp. 532-40
Article / Letter to editor
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Laboratory of Genetic, Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases
The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (1978)
SubjectIGMD 6: Hormonal regulation ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; NCMLS 2: Immune Regulation ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 3: Translational research N4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation
This prospective study used sequential PET with the proliferation tracer 3'-deoxy-3'-(18)F-fluorothymidine ((18)F-FLT) to monitor the early response to treatment of head and neck cancer and evaluated the association between PET parameters and clinical outcome. METHODS: Forty-eight patients with head and neck cancer underwent (18)F-FLT PET/CT before and during the second and fourth weeks of radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. Mean maximum standardized uptake values for the hottest voxel in the tumor and its 8 surrounding voxels in 1 transversal slice (SUVmax(9)) of the PET scans were calculated, as well as PET-segmented gross tumor volumes using visual delineation (GTVVIS) and operator-independent methods based on signal-to-background ratio (GTVSBR) and 50% isocontour of the maximum signal intensity (GTV50%). PET parameters were evaluated for correlations with outcome. RESULTS: (18)F-FLT uptake decreased significantly between consecutive scans. An SUVmax(9) decline >/= 45% and a GTVVIS decrease >/= median during the first 2 treatment weeks were associated with better 3-y disease-free survival (88% vs. 63%, P = 0.035, and 91% vs. 65%, P = 0.037, respectively). A GTVVIS decrease >/= median in the fourth treatment week was also associated with better 3-y locoregional control (100% vs. 68%, P = 0.021). These correlations were most prominent in the subset of patients treated with chemoradiotherapy. Because of low (18)F-FLT uptake levels during treatment, GTVSBR and GTV50% were unsuccessful in segmenting primary tumor volume. CONCLUSION: In head and neck cancer, a change in (18)F-FLT uptake early during radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy is a strong indicator for long-term outcome. (18)F-FLT PET may thus aid in personalized patient management by steering treatment modifications during an early phase of therapy.
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