Purpose: To characterize the relationship between pre-radiotherapy (18)Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake in a tumour voxel, radiation dose and the probability to achieve metabolic control in the tumour voxel after radiotherapy.
Materials and methods: Thirty-nine patients with inoperable stage I-III non-small cell lung cancer, treated with radiotherapy (RT) alone or sequential chemo radiation were analysed retrospectively. Twenty-two showed metabolic active areas in the tumour 3 months post-radiotherapy, which is known to be a surrogate for persistent local tumour failure and worse survival. Pre- and post-RT FDG-PET-CT scans were registered and the metabolic active zones within the tumour after RT were projected on the pre-RT scan. Multi-level logistic regression was performed to determine the relation between the FDG uptake if a voxel pre-RT and its metabolic state after RT.
Results: The probability that a voxel is metabolically controlled (mVCP), decreased significantly with increasing FDG uptake in a voxel (SUV) (OR=0.72), increasing tumour volume (20 cm(3)) (OR=0.89) and increasing dose (Gy) (OR=0.99). Inter-patient differences in mVCP were substantial.
Conclusion: A methodology was presented to derive relationships between FDG uptake, dose and metabolic control. Although no strong dose effect relation was demonstrated, mVCP decreased with increasing FDG uptake and tumour volume.