1. Department of Nuclear Medicine, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China;
2. Department of Liver Disease and Digestive Interventional Radiology, Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China;
3. State Key laboratory of Cancer Biology and Xijing Hospital of Digestive Diseases, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
18F-Fluoro-deoxyglucose (FDG) PET/CT can be used to monitor the biological behavior of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Baseline PET/CT has prognostic value in HCC patients, but there is litter knowledge of the PET/CT changes after treatment. We evaluated 27 HCC patients treated with transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) from June 2011 to July 2012, and we investigated the prognostic value of PET/CT. Patients were followed up with regular clinical and laboratory examinations and contrast-enhanced spiral computed tomography (CT). Furthermore, PET/CT assessments were collected and analyzed before (range 1~15 d) and after the first month of TACE (range, 27~45d). We tested the prognostic value of the tumor standardized uptake value (TSUV) and normal liver SUV(LSUV) according to the VOI (volume of interest). The SUVs were used to assess the relationship between the treatment response and survival. To assess their prognostic value, we evaluated the areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves of different SUVs for predicting survival. Finally, the median overall survival (OS) and time to progression (TTP) for 27 patients were 15.4 months (95%CI, 3.3-27.5 months) and 11.4 months (95%CI, 6.7-16.1 months), respectively. The ΔTSUVmax%, based on the VOI, had the highest discriminative prognostic value and the cutoff PET/CT response was 0.1 with a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 95.2%. The OS was significantly better in the PET/CT response group than in the PET/CT non-response group (p=0.025). In conclusion, an early interim PET/CT after TACE may have prognostic value for HCC patients treated with TACE, and the ΔTSUVmax% may help in determining the HCCs viability in patients with high baseline and follow-up18F-FDG uptake.
Keywords: hepatocellular carcinoma, transarterial chemoembolization (TACE), positron-emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT).