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Neuro Oncol. 2012 Mar;14(3):333-43. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nor220. Epub 2012 Jan 22.

Functional diffusion maps (fDMs) evaluated before and after radiochemotherapy predict progression-free and overall survival in newly diagnosed glioblastoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, 924 Westwood Blvd, Suite 615, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA.


Functional diffusion mapping (fDM) has shown promise as a sensitive imaging biomarker for predicting survival in initial studies consisting of a small number of patients, mixed tumor grades, and before routine use of anti-angiogenic therapy. The current study tested whether fDM performed before and after radiochemotherapy could predict progression-free and overall survival in 143 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma from 2007 through 2010, many treated with anti-angiogenic therapy after recurrence. Diffusion and conventional MRI scans were obtained before and 4 weeks after completion of radiotherapy and concurrent temozolomide treatment. FDM was created by coregistering pre- and posttreatment apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps and then performing voxel-wise subtraction. FDMs were categorized according to the degree of change in ADC in pre- and posttreatment fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and contrast-enhancing regions. The volume fraction of fDM-classified increasing ADC(+), decreasing ADC(-), and change in ADC(+/-) were tested to determine whether they were predictive of survival. Both Bonferroni-corrected univariate log-rank analysis and Cox proportional hazards modeling demonstrated that patients with decreasing ADC in a large volume fraction of pretreatment FLAIR or contrast-enhancing regions were statistically more likely to progress earlier and expire sooner than in patients with a lower volume fraction. The current study supports the hypothesis that fDM is a sensitive imaging biomarker for predicting survival in glioblastoma.

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