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Metabolic Tumor Volume As A Prognostic Imaging-based Biomarker For Head-and-neck Cancer: Pilot Results From Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Protocol 0522.

David L. Schwartz, Jonathan Harris, Min Yao, David I. Rosenthal, Adam Opanowski, Anthony Levering, Kian K. Ang, Andy M Trotti, Adam S Garden, Christopher Uwe Jones, Paul M. Harari, Robert L. Foote, John Michael Holland, Qiang Zhang, Quynh-Thu Le
Published 2015 · Medicine
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PURPOSE To evaluate candidate fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) imaging biomarkers for head-and-neck chemoradiotherapy outcomes in the cooperative group trial setting. METHODS AND MATERIALS Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) protocol 0522 patients consenting to a secondary FDG-PET/CT substudy were serially imaged at baseline and 8 weeks after radiation. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), SUV peak (mean SUV within a 1-cm sphere centered on SUVmax), and metabolic tumor volume (MTV) using 40% of SUVmax as threshold were obtained from primary tumor and involved nodes. RESULTS Of 940 patients entered onto RTOG 0522, 74 were analyzable for this substudy. Neither high baseline SUVmax nor SUVpeak from primary or nodal disease were associated with poor treatment outcomes. However, primary tumor MTV above the cohort median was associated with worse local-regional control (hazard ratio 4.01, 95% confidence interval 1.28-12.52, P=.02) and progression-free survival (hazard ratio 2.34, 95% confidence interval 1.02-5.37, P=.05). Although MTV and T stage seemed to correlate (mean MTV 6.4, 13.2, and 26.8 for T2, T3, and T4 tumors, respectively), MTV remained a strong independent prognostic factor for progression-free survival in bivariate analysis that included T stage. Primary MTV remained prognostic in p16-associated oropharyngeal cancer cases, although sample size was limited. CONCLUSION High baseline primary tumor MTV was associated with worse treatment outcomes in this limited patient subset of RTOG 0522. Additional confirmatory work will be required to validate primary tumor MTV as a prognostic imaging biomarker for patient stratification in future trials.
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