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Gastric Cancer. 2007;10(4):221-7. Epub 2007 Dec 25.

The predictive value of 18F-FDG-PET early evaluation in patients with metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma treated with chemotherapy plus cetuximab.

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Medical Oncology Unit, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Via Albertoni, 15-40138, Bologna, Italy.



The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the therapy-induced reduction of the (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (18F-FDG-PET) maximum standardized uptake value in patients with advanced gastric adenocarcinoma treated with chemotherapy plus cetuximab could predict the objective response and outcome early during the treatment.


The study was performed as a part of a phase II trial evaluating cetuximab plus the leucovorin/5-fluorouracil/irinotecan (FOLFIRI) regimen. The objective response was evaluated according to the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST) every 6 weeks. The early metabolic response evaluated by 18F-FDG-PET was assessed according to our own evaluated cutoff value (<35%) after receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.


Twenty of 22 patients had positive baseline 18F-FDG-PET. The best RECIST response was: complete response (CR), 3; partial response (PR), 9; stable disease (SD), 8. Twelve patients (60%) were classified as metabolic responders and 8 (40%) as nonresponders. At the median follow-up time of 11 months, median time to disease progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) for early metabolic responders versus nonresponders were 11 versus 5 months (P = 0.0016) and 16 versus 6 months (P = 0.1493), respectively.


The early metabolic response evaluated by 18F-FDG-PET predicted the clinical outcome in this series of patients with advanced gastric cancer treated with chemotherapy plus cetuximab.

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