Diffusion-weighted and multiphase contrast-enhanced MRI as surrogate markers of response to neoadjuvant sunitinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma

N. Bharwani*, M. E. Miquel, T. Powles, P. Dilks, A. Shawyer, A. Sahdev, P. D. Wilson, Simon Chowdhury, D. M. Berney, A. G. Rockall

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Current imaging criteria for categorising disease response in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) correlate poorly with overall survival (OS) in patients on anti-angiogenic therapies. We prospectively assess diffusion-weighted and multiphase contrast-enhanced (MCE) MR imaging (MRI) as markers of outcome.

    Methods: Treatment-naive mRCC patients on a phase II trial using sunitinib completed an MRI substudy. Whole-tumour apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps and histograms were generated, and mean ADC and AUC(low) (proportion of the tumour with ADC values lying below the 25th percentile of the ADC histogram) recorded. On MCE-MRI, regions of interest were drawn around the most avidly enhancing components to analyse enhancement parameters. Baseline (n = 26) and treatment-related changes in surviving patients (n = 20) were correlated with OS. Imaged metastases were also analysed.

    Results: Forty-seven per cent of the patients showed significant changes in whole-tumour mean ADC following therapy, but there was no correlation with outcome. Patients with a high baseline AUClow and greater-than-median AUClow increase had reduced OS (HR = 3.67 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.23-10.9), P = 0.012 and HR = 3.72 (95% CI = 0.98-14.21), P = 0.038, respectively). There was no correlation between MCE-MRI parameters and OS. Twenty-eight metastases were analysed and showed positive correlation with primary tumour mean ADC for individual patients (r = 0.607; P <0.001).

    Conclusion: Primary RCC ADC histogram analysis shows dynamic changes with sunitinib. Patients in whom the tumour ADC histogram demonstrated high baseline AUC(low) or a greater-than-median increase in AUC(low) with treatment had reduced OS.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)616-624
    Number of pages9
    JournalBJC: British Journal of Cancer
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2014


    • renal cancer
    • diffusion-weighted MRI
    • multiphase contrast-enhanced MRI
    • sunitinib
    • PHASE-I
    • CANCER
    • SIZE


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