Radiomics analysis of pre-treatment [18F]FDG PET/CT for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer undergoing palliative systemic treatment

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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess radiomics features on pre-treatment [18F]FDG positron emission tomography (PET) as potential biomarkers for response and survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).

METHODS: Patients with mCRC underwent [18F]FDG PET/computed tomography (CT) prior to first- or third-line palliative systemic treatment. Tumour lesions were semiautomatically delineated and standard uptake value (SUV), metabolically active tumour volume (MATV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG), entropy, area under the curve of the cumulative SUV-volume histogram (AUC-CSH), compactness and sphericity were obtained.

RESULTS: Lesions of 47 patients receiving third-line systemic treatment had higher SUVmax, SUVpeak, SUVmean, MATV and TLG, and lower AUC-CSH, compactness and sphericity compared to 52 patients receiving first-line systemic treatment. Therefore, first- and third-line groups were evaluated separately. In the first-line group, anatomical changes on CT correlated negatively with TLG (ρ = 0.31) and MATV (ρ = 0.36), and positively with compactness (ρ = -0.27) and sphericity (ρ = -0.27). Patients without benefit had higher mean entropy (p = 0.021). Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were worse with a decreased mean AUC [hazard ratio (HR) 0.86, HR 0.77] and increase in mean MATV (HR 1.15, HR 1.22), sum MATV (HR 1.14, HR 1.19), mean TLG (HR 1.16, HR 1.22) and sum TLG (HT1.12, HR1.18). In the third-line group, AUC-CSH correlated negatively with anatomical change (ρ = 0.21). PFS and OS were worse with an increased mean MATV (HR 1.27, HR 1.68), sum MATV (HR 1.35, HR 2.04), mean TLG (HR 1.29, HR 1.52) and sum TLG (HT 1.27, HR 1.80). SUVmax and SUVpeak negatively correlated with OS (HR 1.19, HR 1.21). Cluster analysis of the 10 radiomics features demonstrated no complementary value in identifying aggressively growing lesions or patients with impaired survival.

CONCLUSION: We demonstrated an association between improved clinical outcome and pre-treatment low tumour volume and heterogeneity as well as high sphericity on [18F]FDG PET. Future PET imaging research should include radiomics features that incorporate tumour volume and heterogeneity when correlating PET data with clinical outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2307-2317
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

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