Prognostic significance of novel ¹⁸F-FDG PET/CT defined tumour variables in patients with oesophageal cancer

Kieran G Foley, Patrick Fielding, Wyn G Lewis, Alex Karran, David Chan, Paul Blake, S Ashley Roberts
European Journal of Radiology 2014, 83 (7): 1069-73

PURPOSE: (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) is now established as a routine staging investigation of oesophageal cancer (OC). The aim of the study was to determine the prognostic significance of PET/CT defined tumour variables including maximum standardised uptake value (SUVmax), tumour length (TL), metastatic length of disease (MLoD), metabolic tumour volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG) and total local nodal metastasis count (PET/CT LNMC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 103 pre-treatment OC patients (76 adenocarcinoma, 25 squamous cell carcinoma, 1 poorly differentiated and 1 neuroendocrine tumour) were staged using PET/CT. The prognostic value of the measured tumour variables were tested using log-rank analysis of the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox's proportional hazards method. Primary outcome measure was survival from diagnosis.

RESULTS: Univariate analysis showed all variables to have strong statistical significance in relation to survival. Multivariate analysis demonstrated three variables that were significantly and independently associated with survival; MLoD (HR 1.035, 95% CI 1.008-1.064, p=0.011), TLG (HR 1.002, 95% CI 1.000-1.003, p=0.018) and PET/CT LNMC (HR 0.048-0.633, 95% CI 0.005-2.725, p=0.015).

CONCLUSION: MLoD, TLG, and PET/CT LNMC are important prognostic indicators in OC. This is the first study to demonstrate an independent statistical association between TLG, MLoD and survival by multivariable analysis, and highlights the value of staging OC patients with PET/CT using functional tumour variables.

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