DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4041-0Pages: 1672-1679

Tumor fragmentation estimated by volume surface ratio of tumors measured on 18F-FDG PET/CT is an independent prognostic factor of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

1. Henri Becquerel Cancer Centre, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. University of Rouen, LITIS Quantif-EA4108

3. Henri Becquerel Cancer Centre, Department of Haematology

4. Centre Henri Becquerel, INSERM U918

Correspondence to:
Pierre Decazes
Tel: +33 276 67 30 59




Our aim was to study the prognostic value of two new 18F-FDG PET biomarkers in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We examined the total tumor surface (TTS), describing the tumor–host interface, and the tumor volume surface ratio (TVSR), corresponding to the ratio between the total metabolic tumor volume (TMTV) and TTS, describing the tumor fragmentation.


We retrospectively included 215 patients with DLBCL. Patients underwent initial 18F-FDG PET/CT before R-CHOP (73%) or intensified R-CHOP (R-ACVBP) regimens (27%). The TMTV was measured using a fixed threshold value of 41% of SUVmax. To calculate TTS and TVSR, the surface was measured using an in-house software based on the marching cube algorithm. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρ) was computed between TMTV, TTS, and TVSR, and ROC analysis was performed. Survival functions at 5 years were studied using a Kaplan-Meier method and uni/multivariate Cox analysis.


TVSR was poorly correlated with TMTV (ρ = 0.5) and TTS (ρ = 0.26), while TTS was highly correlated with TMTV (ρ = 0.94) and was, therefore, excluded from the analysis. TMTV had the highest area under the ROC curve (0.711) and the best sensitivity (0.797), while TVSR had the best specificity (0.745). The optimal cut-off values to predict 5-year OS were 222 cm3 for TMTV and 6.0 cm for TVSR. Patients with high TMTV and TVSR had significantly worse prognosis in Kaplan-Meier and Cox univariate analysis. In a multivariate Cox analysis combining the International Prognostic Index (IPI), the type of chemotherapy, TMTV, and TVSR, all parameters were independent and significant prognostic factors (HR [95%CI]: IPI 1.4 [1.1-1.8], type of chemotherapy 4.5 [2.0-10.5], TMTV 2.8 [1.4-5.5], TVSR 2.1 [1.3-3.4]). A synergistic effect between TMTV and TVSR was observed in a Kaplan-Meier analysis combining the two parameters.


TVSR measured on the initial 18F-FDG PET is an independent prognostic factor in DLBCL and has an additional prognostic value when combined with TMTV, IPI score and chemotherapy.

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  • Accepted: Apr 20, 2018
  • Online: Apr 28, 2018

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