Serial FLT PET imaging to discriminate between true progression and pseudoprogression in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a long-term follow-up study

Cyrillo G. Brahm, Martha W. den Hollander, Roelien H. Enting, Jan Cees de Groot, A. Millad Solouki, Wilfred F. A. den Dunnen, Mart A. A. M. Heesters, Michiel Wagemakers, Henk M. W. Verheul, Elisabeth G. E. de Vries, Jan Pruim, Annemiek M. E. Walenkamp

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Abstract

Purpose: Response evaluation in patients with glioblastoma after chemoradiotherapy is challenging due to progressive, contrast-enhancing lesions on MRI that do not reflect true tumour progression. In this study, we prospectively evaluated the ability of the PET tracer 18F-fluorothymidine (FLT), a tracer reflecting proliferative activity, to discriminate between true progression and pseudoprogression in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients treated with chemoradiotherapy. Methods: FLT PET and MRI scans were performed before and 4 weeks after chemoradiotherapy. MRI scans were also performed after three cycles of adjuvant temozolomide. Pseudoprogression was defined as progressive disease on MRI after chemoradiotherapy with stabilisation or reduction of contrast-enhanced lesions after three cycles of temozolomide, and was compared with the disease course during long-term follow-up. Changes in maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) and tumour-to-normal uptake ratios were calculated for FLT and are presented as the mean SUVmax for multiple lesions. Results: Between 2009 and 2012, 30 patients were included. Of 24 evaluable patients, 7 showed pseudoprogression and 7 had true progression as defined by MRI response. FLT PET parameters did not significantly differ between patients with true progression and pseudoprogression defined by MRI. The correlation between change in SUVmax and survival (p = 0.059) almost reached the standard level of statistical significance. Lower baseline FLT PET uptake was significantly correlated with improved survival (p = 0.022). Conclusion: Baseline FLT uptake appears to be predictive of overall survival. Furthermore, changes in SUVmax over time showed a tendency to be associated with improved survival. However, further studies are necessary to investigate the ability of FLT PET imaging to discriminate between true progression and pseudoprogression in patients with glioblastoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2404-2412
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Volume45
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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