Objective: To study the post-surgical metabolic and structural cerebral changes in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Materials and methods: We examined ten patients prospectively with newly diagnosed GBM. All patients were primarily treated with surgery, followed by chemotherapy (carmustine, cisplatine and etoposide) and radiotherapy. Positron emission tomography (PET) was used to measure tumor- and cerebral metabolism. CT or MRI was used to estimate tumor volume by measurements of tumor area.
Results: Tumor metabolism was not increased during chemotherapy (P = 0.71), but increased during radiotherapy (P = 0.01). CT/MRI showed similar results with no increase in tumor area during chemotherapy (P = 0.33) but increase during radiotherapy (P = 0.002). During the entire study, tumor metabolism and area increased evenly (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Our study did not show a gain of PET compared with structural imaging in the prospective evaluation of GBM. We found a difference in metabolic increase and tumor growth between the two treatment regimens, although this finding has limited relevance due to the design of the study.