Objectives: Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US) has been used in single-center studies to evaluate tumor response to antiangiogenic treatments: the change of area under the perfusion curve (AUC), a criterion linked to blood volume, was consistently correlated with the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors response. The main objective here was to do a multicentric validation of the use of DCE-US to evaluate tumor response in different solid tumor types treated by several antiangiogenic agents. A secondary objective was to evaluate the costs of the procedure.
Materials and methods: This prospective study included patients from 2007 to 2010 in 19 centers (8 teaching hospitals and 11 comprehensive cancer centers). All patients treated with antiangiogenic therapy were eligible. Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound examinations were performed at baseline as well as on days 7, 15, 30, and 60. For each examination, a perfusion curve was recorded during 3 minutes after injection of a contrast agent. Change from baseline at each time point was estimated for each of 7 fitted criteria. The main end point was freedom from progression (FFP). Criterion/time-point combinations with the strongest correlation with FFP were analyzed further to estimate an optimal cutoff point.
Results: A total of 1968 DCE-US examinations in 539 patients were analyzed. The median follow-up was 1.65 years. Variations from baseline were significant at day 30 for several criteria, with AUC having the most significant association with FFP (P = 0.00002). Patients with a greater than 40% decrease in AUC at day 30 had better FFP (P = 0.005) and overall survival (P = 0.05). The mean cost of each DCE-US was 180&OV0556;, which corresponds to $250 using the current exchange rate.
Conclusions: Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound is a new functional imaging technique that provides a validated criterion, namely, the change of AUC from baseline to day 30, which is predictive of tumor progression in a large multicenter cohort. Because of its low cost, it should be considered in the routine evaluation of solid tumors treated with antiangiogenic therapy.