Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of FDG-PET to predict the response of primary tumour and nodal disease to preoperative induction chemoradiotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: FDG-PET studies were performed before and after completion of chemoradiotherapy prior to surgery in 26 patients with NSCLC. FDG-PET imaging was performed at 1 h (early) and 2 h (delayed) after injection. Semi-quantitative analysis was performed using the standardised uptake value (SUV) at the primary tumour. Percent change was calculated according to the following equation: [see text]. Based on histopathological analysis of the specimens obtained at surgery, patients were classified as pathological responders or pathological non-responders. The clinical nodal stage on the post-chemoradiotherapy PET scan was visually determined and compared with the final pathological stage.
Results: Eighteen patients were found to be pathological responders and eight to be pathological non-responders. SUV(after) values from both early and delayed images in pathological responders were significantly lower than those in pathological non-responders. The percent change values from early and delayed images in the pathological responders were significantly higher than those in the pathological non-responders. The post-chemoradiotherapy PET scan accurately predicted nodal stage in 22 of 26 patients.
Conclusion: FDG-PET may have the potential to predict response to induction chemoradiotherapy in patients with NSCLC.