Prediction of cervical metastasis and survival in cN0 oral cavity cancer using tumour 18 F-FDG PET/CT functional parameters

Mi Rye Bae, Jong-Lyel Roh, Jae Seung Kim, Seung-Ho Choi, Soon Yuhl Nam, Sang Yoon Kim
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 2020 July 8

PURPOSE: Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCC) can spread to the neck without apparent lymphadenopathy. Pretreatment detection or prediction of occult metastasis might contribute to proper management of clinically node-negative (cN0) OCC. We examined the role of tumour quantitative 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18 F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) measurements for predicting OCC occult metastasis and survival.

METHODS: This study included 130 cN0 OCC patients who underwent 18 F-FDG PET/CT scanning and subsequent curative surgery and neck dissection. Maximum, peak, and mean standardized uptake value (SUVmax , SUVpeak , and SUVmean ), metabolic tumour volume (MTV), and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) were measured on pretreatment 18 F-FDG PET/CT. Binary logistic regression was used to identify factors predicting occult cervical metastasis. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression were used to find factors associated with overall survival (OS).

RESULTS: Pathological cervical metastasis (pN +) was found in 29 (22.3%) patients. Age, tumour differentiation, lymphovascular invasion, and T classification were significantly associated with pN + (all P < 0.05). After adjustment for these factors, MTV and TLG independently predicted pN + (P < 0.05). Invasion depth, lymphovascular invasion, T and N classifications, and overall TNM stage were significantly associated with OS. After adjustment for these factors, SUVmax and TLG independently predicted OS (all P < 0.05). Patients with TLG > 9.3 g had a 5.7-fold increased risk of overall mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: Tumour 18 F-FDG PET/CT parameters might predict occult metastasis and survival in cN0 OCC patients.

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