Background: Glioblastoma patients show a great variability in progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). To gain additional pretherapeutic information, we explored the potential of O-(2-18F-fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (FET) PET as an independent prognostic biomarker.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed 146 consecutively treated, newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients. All patients were treated with temozolomide and radiation therapy (RT). CT/MR and FET PET scans were obtained postoperatively for RT planning. We used Cox proportional hazards models with OS and PFS as endpoints, to test the prognostic value of FET PET biological tumor volume (BTV).
Results: Median follow-up time was 14 months, and median OS and PFS were 16.5 and 6.5 months, respectively. In the multivariate analysis, increasing BTV (HR = 1.17, P < 0.001), poor performance status (HR = 2.35, P < 0.001), O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase protein status (HR = 1.61, P = 0.024) and higher age (HR = 1.32, P = 0.013) were independent prognostic factors of poor OS. For poor PFS, only increasing BTV (HR = 1.18; P = 0.002) was prognostic. A prognostic index for OS was created based on the identified prognostic factors.
Conclusion: Large BTV on FET PET is an independent prognostic factor of poor OS and PFS in glioblastoma patients. With the introduction of FET PET, we obtain a prognostic index that can help in glioblastoma treatment planning.
Keywords: Biomarker; FET PET; Glioblastoma; Prognostic index; Radiation therapy.