Prognostic impact of [18F]fluorothymidine and [18F]fluoro-D-glucose baseline uptakes in patients with lung cancer treated first-line with erlotinib

Matthias Scheffler, Thomas Zander, Lucia Nogova, Carsten Kobe, Deniz Kahraman, Markus Dietlein, Irini Papachristou, Lukas Heukamp, Reinhard Büttner, Ron Boellaard, Adriaan A Lammertsma, Silvia Querings, Erich Stoelben, Walburga Engel-Riedel, Bernd Neumaier, Jürgen Wolf
PloS One 2013, 8 (1): e53081

UNLABELLED: 3'-deoxy-3'-[(18)F]fluoro-L-thymidine (FLT) and 2'-deoxy-2'-[(18)F]fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) are used to visualize proliferative and metabolic activity of tumors. In this study we aimed at evaluating the prognostic value of FLT and FDG uptake measured by positron emission tomography (PET) in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) prior to systemic therapy with erlotinib. FLT and FDG maximum standardized uptake (SUVmax) values per patient were analyzed in 40 chemotherapy naive patients with advanced NSCLC (stage IV) before treatment with erlotinib. Prior therapy median SUVmax was 6.6 for FDG and 3.0 for FLT, respectively. In univariate analysis, patients with an FDG SUVmax <6.6 had a significantly better overall survival (16.3 months [95% confidence interval [CI] 7.1-25.4 months]) compared to patients with an FDG SUVmax ≥6.6 (3.1 months [95% CI 0.6-5.5 months]) (p<0.001, log rank). Similarly, low FLT uptake (SUVmax <3.0) was associated with significantly longer survival (10.3 months (0-23.3 months, 95% CI) compared to high FLT uptake (3.4 months (0-8.1 months, 95% CI) (p = 0.027). The independent prognostic value of baseline FDG uptake was demonstrated in multivariate analysis (p = 0.05, Cox regression). These data suggest that baseline SUVmax values for both FDG and FLT PET might be further developed as markers for prognostic stratification of patients in advanced NSCLC treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) directed against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).

TRIAL REGISTRATION:, Identifier: NCT00568841.

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