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Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer MRI: Capability for Predicting Therapeutic Effect of Chemoradiotherapy on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients.

BACKGROUND: Amide proton transfer (APT) weighted chemical exchange saturation transfer CEST (APTw/CEST) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been suggested as having the potential for assessing the therapeutic effect of brain tumors or rectal cancer. Moreover, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and positron emission tomography fused with computed tomography by means of 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG-PET/CT) have been suggested as useful in same setting.

PURPOSE: To compare the capability of APTw/CEST imaging, DWI, and FDG-PET/CT for predicting therapeutic effect of chemoradiotherapy (CRT) on stage III non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

STUDY TYPE: Prospective.

POPULATION: Eighty-four consecutive patients with Stage III NSCLC, 45 men (age range, 62-75 years; mean age, 71 years) and 39 women (age range, 57-75 years; mean age, 70 years). All patients were then divided into two groups (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST] responders, consisting of the complete response and partial response groups, and RECIST non-responders, consisting of the stable disease and progressive disease groups).

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: 3 T, echo planar imaging or fast advanced spin-echo (FASE) sequences for DWI and 2D half Fourier FASE sequences with magnetization transfer pulses for CEST imaging.

ASSESSMENT: Magnetization transfer ratio asymmetry (MTRasym ) at 3.5 ppm, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax, ) on PET/CT were assessed by means of region of interest (ROI) measurements at primary tumor.

STATISTICAL TESTS: Kaplan-Meier method followed by log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis with multivariate analysis. A P value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS: Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) had significant difference between two groups. MTRasym at 3.5 ppm (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.70) and SUVmax (HR = 1.41) were identified as significant predictors for PFS. Tumor staging (HR = 0.57) was also significant predictors for OS.

DATA CONCLUSION: APTw/CEST imaging showed potential performance as DWI and FDG-PET/CT for predicting the therapeutic effect of CRT on stage III NSCLC patients.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2 TECHNICAL EFFICACY: Stage 1.

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