[Impact of computed tomography (CT) and 18F-deoxyglucose-coincidence detection emission tomography (FDG-CDET) image fusion for optimisation of conformal radiotherapy in non-small-cell lung cancers]

E Deniaud-Alexandre, E Touboul, D Lerouge, D Grahek, J N Foulquier, Y Petegnief, B Grès, H El Balaa, K Keraudy, K Kerrou, F Montravers, B Milleron, B Lebeau, J-N Talbot
Cancer Radiothérapie: Journal de la Société Française de Radiothérapie Oncologique 2005, 9 (5): 304-15

UNLABELLED: To report a retrospective study concerning the impact of fused 18F-fluorodeoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-hybrid positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) images on three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) planning for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred and one patients consecutively treated for stages I-III NSCLC were studied. Each patient underwent CT and FDG-hybrid PET for simulation treatment in the same radiation treatment position. Images were coregistered using five fiducial markers. Target volume delineation was initially performed on the CT images and the corresponding FDG-PET data were subsequently used as an overlay to the CT data to define target volume.

RESULTS: FDG-PET identified previously undetected distant metastatic disease in 8 patients making them ineligible for curative CRT (one patient presented some positive uptakes corresponding to concomitant pulmonary tuberculosis). Another patient was ineligible for curative treatment because fused CT/PET images demonstrated excessively extensive intrathoracic disease. The gross tumor volume (GTV) was decreased by CT/PET image fusion in 21 patients (23%) and was increased in 24 patients (26%). The GTV reduction was > or = 25% in 7 patients because CT/PET image fusion reduced pulmonary GTV in 6 patients (3 patients with atelectasis) and mediastinal nodal GTV in 1 patient. The GTV increase was > or = 25% in 14 patients due to an increase of the pulmonary GTV in 11 patients (4 patients with atelectasis) and detection of occult mediastinal lymph node involvement in 3 patients. Among 81 patients receiving a total dose > or = 60 Gy at ICRU point, after CT/PET image fusion, the percentage of total lung volume receiving more than 20 Gy (VL20) increased in 15 cases and decreased in 22 cases. The percentage of total heart volume receiving more than 36 Gy increased in 8 patients and decreased in 14 patients. The spinal cord volume receiving at least 45 Gy (2 patients) decreased. After multivariate analysis, one single independent factor made significant effect of FDG/PET on the modification of the size of the GTV: tumor with atelectasis (P = 0.0001). Conclusion. - Our study confirms that integrated hybrid PET/CT in the treatment position and coregistered images have an impact on treatment planning and management of patients with NSCLC. FDG images using dedicated PET scanners with modern image fusion techniques and respiration-gated acquisition protocols could improve CT/PET image coregistration. However, prospective studies with histological correlation are necessary and the impact on treatment outcome remains to be demonstrated.

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