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Does measurement of first-order and heterogeneity parameters improve response assessment of bone metastases in breast cancer compared to SUVmax in [18F]fluoride and [18F]FDG PET?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Accepted/In press31 Jul 2018
Published24 Sep 2018


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Purpose: To establish whether first-order statistical features from [18F]fluoride and 2-deoxy-2-[F-18] fluoro-D-glucose ([18F]FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) demonstrate incremental value in skeletal metastasis response assessment compared with maximum standardised uptake value (SUVmax).
Methods: Sixteen patients starting endocrine treatment for de-novo or progressive breast cancer bone metastases were prospectively recruited to undergo [18F]fluoride and [18F]FDG PET/CT scans before and 8 weeks after treatment. Percentage changes in SUV parameters, metabolic tumour volume (MTV), total lesion metabolism (TLM), standard deviation (SD), entropy, uniformity and absolute changes in kurtosis and skewness, from the same ≤ 5 index lesions, were measured. Clinical response to 24 weeks, assessed by 2 experienced oncologists blinded to PET/CT imaging findings, was used as a reference standard and associations were made between parameters and progression free and overall survival.
Results: [18F]fluoride PET/CT: In 4 patients (20 lesions) with progressive disease (PD), TLM and kurtosis predicted PD better than SUVmax on a patient basis (4,4,3 out of 4, respectively) and TLM, entropy, uniformity and skewness on a lesion basis (18,16,16,18,15 out of 20, respectively). Kurtosis was independently associated with PFS (p=0.033) and OS (p=0.008) on Kaplan-Meier analysis.
[18F]FDG PET: No parameter provided incremental value over SUVmax in predicting PD or non-PD. TLM was significantly associated with OS (p=0.041) and skewness with PFS (p=0.005).
Interlesional heterogeneity of response was seen in 11/16 and 8/16 patients on [18F]fluoride and [18F]FDG PET/CT, respectively.
Conclusion: With [18F]fluoride PET/CT some first-order features, including those that take into account lesion volume, but also some heterogeneity parameters, provide incremental value over SUVmax in predicting clinical response and survival in breast cancer patients with bone metastases treated with endocrine therapy. With [18F]FDG PET/CT, no first-order parameters were more accurate than SUVmax although TLM and skewness were associated with OS and PFS, respectively. Intra-patient heterogeneity of response occurs commonly between metastases with both tracers and most parameters.

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