Volume-based parameters of (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography improve outcome prediction in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer after surgical resection

Ann Surg. 2013 Feb;257(2):364-70. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e318262a6ec.


Objective: To evaluate the prognostic significance and predictive performance of volume-based parameters of F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (F-FDG PET/CT) in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Background: Although surgical resection remains the optimal treatment for early-stage NSCLC, approximately 40% of patients with stage I and 60% of patients with stage II NSCLC relapse and die within 5 years after curative resection. Therefore, identification of additional prognostic biomarkers is needed to develop risk-adapted treatment strategies.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 529 consecutive patients with pathologically proven early-stage NSCLC who underwent preoperative F-FDG PET/CT. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) for the primary tumors were measured. Overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were assessed by the Kaplan-Meier method. The prognostic significance of PET parameters and other clinicopathological variables was assessed by Cox proportional hazards regression analysis. To evaluate and compare the predictive performance of PET parameters, time-dependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used.

Results: In the multivariate analyses, volume-based parameters of PET (MTV and TLG) that were analyzed as continuous variables were significantly associated with an increased risk of recurrence (P = 0.001 for MTV, P < 0.001 for TLG) and death (P = 0.009 for MTV, P = 0.007 for TLG), after adjusting for age, sex, histology, tumor stage, and type of surgery. SUVmax analyzed as a continuous variable was not a significant prognostic factor for both DFS (P = 0.056) and OS (P = 0.525). In the time-dependent ROC curve analysis, the volume-based parameter of PET showed better predictive performance than SUVmax (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The volume-based parameter of PET is an independent prognostic factor for survival in addition to pathological tumor-node-metastasis stage and a promising tool for better prediction of outcome in patients with early-stage NSCLC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18