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Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2014 Jun;41(6):1076-83. doi: 10.1007/s00259-013-2680-8. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Prognostic relevance of ¹⁸F-FDG PET uptake in patients with locally advanced, extremity soft tissue sarcomas undergoing neoadjuvant isolated limb perfusion with TNF-α and melphalan.

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  • 1Department of General Orthopedics and Tumor Orthopedics, Münster University Hospital, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, 48149, Münster, Germany,



The objective of this study was to determine whether (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) can adequately assess the risk of systemic disease progression in patients with primary, localized, high-grade soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities undergoing neoadjuvant isolated limb perfusion (ILP) with tumour necrosis factor and melphalan.


This was a retrospective analysis of the files of 35 patients who underwent a PET or PET/CT scan prior to and after ILP followed by surgical resection with curative intent between 2006 and 2012. SUVmax₁ was defined as the maximum standardized uptake value (SUV) at diagnosis, SUVmax₂ as the maximum SUV after ILP and ΔSUVmax as the percentage difference between SUVmax1 and SUVmax₂.


The median follow-up was 40 months for all patients. The median SUVmax1 amounted to 7.6, while the median SUVmax₂ was 4.7. The median ΔSUVmax was -44%. Overall survival (OS) probability at 2 and 5 years amounted to 78 and 70%, respectively, while metastasis-free survival (MFS) probability at 2 and 5 years was 67 and 64%, respectively. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that both SUVmax2 and ΔSUVmax could predict systemic disease progression, while SUVmax1 could not adequately identify patients who went on to develop metastatic disease. The optimal cut-off value was 6.9 for SUVmax2 and -31 % for ΔSUVmax. Patients with an SUVmax2 <6.9 had a 2-year MFS of 80%, compared to 31 % for patients with an SUVmax2 ≥ 6.9 (p < 0.001). Patients with a ΔSUVmax < -31 %, i.e. patients with a higher metabolic response, had an MFS of 76% at 2 years, compared to 42% for patients with a ΔSUVmax ≥ -31% (p = 0.050).


SUVmax after ILP for primary, locally advanced, non-metastatic high-grade soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities appears to be significantly correlated with prognosis. Whether patients with a high SUVmax after ILP will benefit from standard or experimental adjuvant systemic treatment options should be evaluated in future studies.

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