Tumor heterogeneity measurement using [18F] FDG PET/CT shows prognostic value in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

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Hughes, N. M.
Mou, Tian
O'Regan, K. N.
Murphy, P.
O'Sullivan, Janet N.
Wolsztynski, Eric
Huang, Jian
Kennedy, Marcus P.
Eary, Janet F.
O'Sullivan, Finbarr
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Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate primary tumor heterogeneity in patients with FDG-avid non-small cell lung cancer on PET/CT, with a view to optimising prognostic information from the metabolic signature of the primary tumor. Methods: A retrospective analysis of 94 [18F] FDG PET/CTs (56 M:38F) in patients with a diagnosis of primary lung malignancy was performed. Data collected included patient demographics, tumor size, maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), clinical stage and tumor histology. Clinical follow up and survival data were obtained from the available medical records. Tumor FDG spatial uptake heterogeneity was evaluated by the lack of conformity of the FDG pattern within the tumor region of interest to a simple 3-dimensional ellipsoidal form. A multivariate Cox regression analysis was used to assess the added prognostic benefit of heterogeneity information beyond radiological staging and other factors. Results: Ninety four patients (mean age 67 years, range 36–85; 59.6% male) were available for analysis. The clinical staging distribution had 25 Stage I, 14 Stage II, 38 Stage III and 17 Stage IV. Mean tumor FDG spatial uptake heterogeneity was 25.87% with a range 2.78%–83.52%. Multivariate analysis found that heterogeneity, clinical stage, SUVmax and gender were associated with survival. Greater FDG spatial uptake heterogeneity is associated with significantly shorter survival (p = 0.0152). An increase of 19.5% (1 standard deviation) in FDG spatial uptake heterogeneity, is associated with a 43% increase in the risk of death. Conclusion: Quantification of the FDG spatial uptake heterogeneity of lung tumors has potential to add prognostic information to lung cancer staging beyond SUVmax and clinical stage information.
[ 18F] FDG PET/CT , NSCLC , Image analysis , Heterogeneity
Hughes, N.M., Mou, T., O’Regan, K.N., Murphy, P., O’Sullivan, J.N., Wolsztynski, E., Huang, J., Kennedy, M.P., Eary, J.F. and O’Sullivan, F., (2018) Tumor heterogeneity measurement using [18 F] FDG PET/CT shows prognostic value in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. European Journal of Hybrid Imaging, 2(1), (9pp). DOI: 10.1186/s41824-018-0043-1