FDG-PET in the prediction of pathologic response after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced, resectable esophageal cancer

Si Yeol Song, Jong Hoon Kim, Jin Sook Ryu, Gin Hyug Lee, Sung Bae Kim, Seung Il Park, Ho-Young Song, Kyung-Ja Cho, Seung Do Ahn, Sang-Wook Lee, Seong Soo Shin, Eun Kyung Choi
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2005 November 15, 63 (4): 1053-9

PURPOSE: To assess the efficacy of 18Fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) for predicting a pathologic response in locally advanced esophageal cancer after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: All enrolled patients were treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy followed by esophagectomy and underwent two FDG-PET scans, before and after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. We compared the results of the preoperative FDG-PET scans with the pathologic results.

RESULTS: From July 2001 to July 2004, 32 patients (29 men and 3 women) were enrolled in this study. Pathologic complete response (pCR) in the esophagus was achieved in 21 of 32 patients (66%). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) in the primary tumors of the preoperative FDG-PET were 27%, 95%, 75%, and 71%, respectively. In regional lymph nodes, these values were 16%, 98%, 36%, and 93%, respectively. The mean standardized uptake value (SUV) of primary tumors was initially 5.6 +/- 3.6 and changed to 1.5 +/- 1.3 after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (p < 0.05). If analysis of metabolic response (SUV decrease, DeltaSUV) was limited to initially highly metabolic primary tumors (SUV > or =4.0), pathologic response was correlated with metabolic response (p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that the pathologic response of an initially highly metabolic tumor after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy could be correlated with the metabolic response, and FDG-PET can provide additional information on tumor response to chemoradiotherapy.

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