Better predictive markers are needed to deliver individualized care for patients with primary esophagogastric cancer. This exploratory study aimed to assess whether pre-treatment imaging parameters from dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) PET/CT are associated with response to neoadjuvant therapy or outcome.
Materials and methods
Following ethical approval and informed consent, prospective participants underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and 18F-FDG PET/CT prior to neoadjuvant chemotherapy/chemoradiotherapy ± surgery. Vascular dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and metabolic 18F-FDG PET parameters were compared by tumor characteristics using Mann Whitney U test and with pathological response (Mandard tumor regression grade), recurrence-free and overall survival using logistic regression modelling, adjusting for predefined clinical variables.
39 of 47 recruited participants (30 males; median age 65 years, IQR: 54, 72 years) were included in the final analysis. The tumor vascular-metabolic ratio was higher in patients remaining node positive following neoadjuvant therapy (median tumor peak enhancement/SUVmax ratio: 0.052 vs. 0.023, p = 0.02). In multivariable analysis adjusted for age, gender, pre-treatment tumor and nodal stage, peak enhancement (highest gadolinium concentration value prior to contrast washout) was associated with pathological tumor regression grade. The odds of response decreased by 5% for each 0.01 unit increase (OR 0.95; 95% CI: 0.90, 1.00, p = 0.04). No 18F-FDG PET/CT parameters were predictive of pathological tumor response. No relationships between pre-treatment imaging and survival were identified.
Pre-treatment esophagogastric tumor vascular and metabolic parameters may provide additional information in assessing response to neoadjuvant therapy.