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Correlation Between Metabolic Tumor Volume And Pathologic Tumor Volume In Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Oral Cavity.

James D Murphy, Karen M Chisholm, Megan E. Daly, Ellen A. Wiegner, Daniel Truong, Andrei Iagaru, Peter G. Maxim, Billy W. Loo, Edward E Graves, Michael J. Kaplan, Christina S. Kong, Quynh-Thu Le
Published 2011 · Medicine
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PURPOSE To explore the relationship between pathologic tumor volume and volume estimated from different tumor segmentation techniques on (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in oral cavity cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS Twenty-three patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue had PET-CT scans before definitive surgery. Pathologic tumor volume was estimated from surgical specimens. Metabolic tumor volume (MTV) was defined from PET-CT scans as the volume of tumor above a given SUV threshold. Multiple SUV thresholds were explored including absolute SUV thresholds, relative SUV thresholds, and gradient-based techniques. RESULTS Multiple MTV's were associated with pathologic tumor volume; however the correlation was poor (R(2) range 0.29-0.58). The ideal SUV threshold, defined as the SUV that generates an MTV equal to pathologic tumor volume, was independently associated with maximum SUV (p=0.0005) and tumor grade (p=0.024). MTV defined as a function of maximum SUV and tumor grade improved the prediction of pathologic tumor volume (R(2)=0.63). CONCLUSIONS Common SUV thresholds fail to predict pathologic tumor volume in head and neck cancer. The optimal technique that allows for integration of PET-CT with radiation treatment planning remains to be defined. Future investigation should incorporate biomarkers such as tumor grade into definitions of MTV.
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