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Use of dose-volume histograms for metabolic response prediction in hepatocellular carcinoma patients undergoing transarterial radioembolization with Y-90 resin microspheres.

INTRODUCTION: Voxel-based dosimetry offers improved outcomes in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with transarterial radioembolization (TARE) using glass microspheres. However, the adaptation of voxel-based dosimetry to resin-based microspheres has been poorly studied, and the prognostic relevance of heterogeneous dose distribution remains unclear. This study aims to explore the use of dose-volume histograms for resin microspheres and to determine thresholds for objective metabolic response in HCC patients treated with resin-based TARE.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed HCC patients who underwent TARE with Y-90-loaded resin microspheres in our institution between January 2021 and December 2022. Voxel-based dosimetry was performed on post-treatment Y-90 PET/CT images to extract parameters including mean dose absorbed by the tumor (mTD), the percentage of the targeted tumor volume (pTV), and the minimum doses absorbed by consecutive percentages within the tumor volume (D10, D25, D50, D75, D90). Assessment of metabolic response was done according to PERCIST criteria with F-18 FDG PET/CT imaging at 8-12 weeks after the treatment.

RESULTS: This study included 35 lesions targeted with 22 TARE sessions in 19 patients (15 males, 4 females, mean age 60 ± 13 years). Objective metabolic response was achieved in 43% of the lesions (n = 15). Responsive lesions had significantly higher mTD, pTV, and D25-D90 values (all p < 0.05). Optimal cut-off values for mTD, pTV, and D50 were 94.6 Gy (sensitivity 73%, specificity 70%, AUC 0.72), 94% (sensitivity 73%, specificity 55%, AUC 0.64), and 91 Gy (sensitivity 80%, specificity 80%, AUC 0.80), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Parameters derived from dose-volume histograms could offer valuable insights for predicting objective metabolic response in HCC patients treated with resin-based TARE. If verified with larger prospective cohorts, these parameters could enhance the precision of dose distribution and potentially optimize treatment outcomes.

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