DOI: 10.1007/s00259-017-3789-yPages: 2169-2178

Metabolic tumor burden quantified on [18F]FDG PET/CT improves TNM staging of lung cancer patients

1. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, Nuclear Medicine Department

2. University of Coimbra, Laboratory of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine

3. University of Coimbra, Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Life Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

4. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, Technology and Information Systems Department

5. Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, Radiology Department

6. University of Coimbra, University Oncology Clinic, Faculty of Medicine

7. University of Coimbra, Institute of Nuclear Sciences Applied to Health-ICNAS

Correspondence to:
Paula Lapa
Tel: 00351912235812
Email: paula.alexandra.lapa@gmail.com

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of our study was to test a new staging algorithm, combining clinical TNM staging (cTNM) with whole-body metabolic active tumor volume (MATV-WB), with the goal of improving prognostic ability and stratification power.

Methods

Initial staging [18F]FDG PET/CT of 278 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, performed between January/2011 and April/2016, 74(26.6%) women, 204(73.4%) men; aged 34-88 years (mean ± SD:66 ± 10), was retrospectively evaluated, and MATV-WB was quantified. Each patient’s follow-up time was recorded: 0.7-83.6 months (mean ± SD:25.1 ± 20.3).

Results

MATV-WB was an independent and statistically-significant predictor of overall survival (p < 0.001). The overall survival predictive ability of MATV-WB (C index: mean ± SD = 0.7071 ± 0.0009) was not worse than cTNM (C index: mean ± SD = 0.7031 ± 0.007) (Z = −0.143, p = 0.773). Estimated mean survival times of 56.3 ± 3.0 (95%CI:50.40-62.23) and 21.7 ± 2.2 months (95%CI:17.34-25.98) (Log-Rank = 77.48, p < 0.001), one-year survival rate of 86.8% and of 52.8%, and five-year survival rate of 53.6% and no survivors, were determined, respectively, for patients with MATV-WB < 49.5 and MATV-WB ≥ 49.5. Patients with MATV-WB ≥ 49.5 had a mortality risk 2.9-5.8 times higher than those with MATV-WB < 49.5 (HR = 4.12, p < 0.001). MATV-WB cutoff points were also determined for each cTNM stage: 23.7(I), 49.5(II), 52(III), 48.8(IV) (p = 0.029, p = 0.227, p = 0.025 and p = 0.001, respectively). At stages I, III and IV there was a statistically-significant difference in the estimated mean overall survival time between groups of patients defined by the cutoff points (p = 0.007, p = 0.004 and p < 0.001, respectively). At stage II (p = 0.365), there was a clinically-significant difference of about 12 months between the groups. In all cTNM stages, patients with MATV-WB ≥ cutoff points had lower survival rates. Combined clinical TNM-PET staging (cTNM-P) was then tested: Stage I < 23.7; Stage I ≥ 23.7; Stage II < 49.5; Stage II ≥ 49.5; Stage III < 52; Stage III ≥ 52; Stage IV < 48.8; Stage IV ≥ 48.8. cTNM-P staging presented a superior overall survival predictive ability (C index = 0.730) compared with conventional cTNM staging (C index = 0.699) (Z = −4.49, p < 0.001).

Conclusion

cTNM-P staging has superior prognostic value compared with conventional cTNM staging, and allows better stratification of NSCLC patients.

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  • Accepted: Jul 19, 2017
  • Online: Aug 7, 2017

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