FDG Uptake on Positron Emission Tomography Correlates with Survival and Time to Recurrence in Patients with Stage I Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Woocheol Kwon, Brandon A Howard, James E Herndon, Edward F Patz
Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2015, 10 (6): 897-902

INTRODUCTION: Patients with stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have a wide variation in outcomes, most likely because there are undetected metastases at presentation. We retrospectively reviewed patients with early stage lung cancer to determine if FDG uptake of the primary tumor as measured on positron emission tomography (PET) at the time of diagnosis was associated with overall survival (OS) or time to recurrence (TTR).

METHODS: We reviewed the Tumor Registry at our institution and identified 336 consecutive patients diagnosed with stage I NSCLC over a 5-year period who underwent an FDG-PET/computed tomography within 90 days before surgery. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to describe the survival and TTR experience within subgroups defined by PET maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax). Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the impact of PET SUVmax as a continuous variable on OS and TTR. Logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of SUVmax on dichotomized outcomes.

RESULTS: Three hundred thirty-six consecutive patients (176 women and 160 men) with stage I NSCLC were retrospectively reviewed. Mean SUVmax was 9.2 ± 6.9 (range 0.6-30.3). The hazard or risk of dying and recurrence increased significantly as SUVmax increased (p = 0.0008 and 0.024, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative FDG uptake in the primary tumor in patients with stage I disease is associated with OS and TTR. This may be useful in identifying early stage patients who may benefit from more aggressive therapy after surgical resection.

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