OBJECTIVE: To investigate local tumour control after dose-escalation based on [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) obtained before and early during fractionated irradiation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 85 mice bearing FaDu xenografts underwent FDG-PET twice: first immediately prior to the first 2-Gy fraction of irradiation (PET1_0) and second after 18 degrees Gy (PET2_18). After these 9 fractions, animals were randomly allocated to: (1) continuation of 2-Gy fractions (cumulative dose of 60 degrees Gy; n=31), (2) dose-escalation with 3-Gy fractions (cumulative EQD2-dose 86.25 degrees Gy [alpha/beta-value: 10]; n=25), or (3) with 4-Gy fractions (cumulative EQD2-dose 116 degrees Gy; n=29). The effects of SUVmax0 degrees Gy, SUVmax18 degrees Gy, and dose on local tumour control were analysed in two ways. First, the Cox proportional hazards model was used with two covariates: continuous SUVmax values and dose. Second, the Kaplan-Meier method was used, with tumours classified according to SUVmax greater than or less than (1) median maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) at PET1_0 and PET2_18, or (2) the cut-off value 2.5. RESULTS: The multivariate Cox analysis revealed a significant negative association between higher SUVmax determined before start of treatment and local control (HR=1.59, [95% CI 1.04, 2.42], p=0.031), whereas higher dose had a significant positive effect (HR=0.95, [0.93, 0.98], p〈0.001). In contrast, FDG uptake at 18Gy did not correlate with local control (HR=1.14, [0.53, 2.45], p=0.73). Neither FDG uptake prior to irradiation nor at 18Gy correlated with local control irrespective of the delivered dose (log-rank test) when using the median SUVmax values for stratification (SUVmax0Gy: 60Gy: p=0.25, 86.25Gy: p=0.47, 116Gy: p=0.88 and SUVmax18Gy: 60Gy: p=0.42, 86.25Gy: p=0.34, 116Gy: p=0.99). By contrast, stratifying the animals by the cut-off 2.5 at PET1_0 reveals a significant difference in local control for the 60Gy group (p=0.034), but not for the other dose groups. At PET2_18, no significant effect for any dose group was detected. CONCLUSIONS: The multivariate Cox analysis revealed a significantly higher hazard of recurrence for mice with higher SUVmax determined before start of treatment. These results support the hypothesis that patients with high pre-therapeutic FDG uptake should be considered at increased risk of local failure and therefore as possible candidates for dose escalation strategies.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published