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Adv Radiat Oncol. 2018 Nov 26;4(2):429-437. doi: 10.1016/j.adro.2018.11.006. eCollection 2019 Apr-Jun.

Increases in Serial Pretreatment 18F-FDG PET-CT Metrics Predict Survival in Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated With Stereotactic Ablative Radiation Therapy.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.
Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, California.
St. Anthony's Radiation Oncology Specialists, St. Anthony's Medical Center, St Louis, Missouri.
Department of Radiation Oncology, The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, Ohio.
David Grant Medical Center Radiation Oncology, Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, California.
Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford, California.



Quantitative changes in positron emission tomography with computed tomography imaging metrics over serial scans may be predictive biomarkers. We evaluated the relationship of pretreatment metabolic tumor growth rate (MTGR) and standardized uptake value velocity (SUVV) with disease recurrence or death in patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer treated with stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SABR).

Methods and Materials:

Under institutional review board approval, we retrospectively identified patients who underwent positron emission tomography with computed tomography at diagnosis and staging and simulation for SABR. Two cohorts underwent SABR between November 2005 to October 2012 (discovery) and January 2012 to April 2016 (validation). MTGR and SUVV were calculated as the daily change in metabolic tumor volume and maximum standardized uptake value, respectively. Cox proportional hazard models identified predictors of local, regional, and distant recurrence and death for the combined cohort. MTGR and SUVV thresholds dichotomizing risk of death in the discovery cohort were applied to the validation cohort.


A total of 152 lesions were identified in 143 patients (92 lesions in 83 discovery cohort patients). In multivariable models, increasing MTGR trended toward increased hazard of distant recurrence (hazard ratio, 6.98; 95% confidence interval, 0.67-72.61; P = .10). In univariable models, SUVV trended toward risk of death (hazard ratio, 11.8, 95% confidence interval, 0.85-165.1, P = .07). MTGR greater than 0.04 mL/d was prognostic of decreased survival in discovery (P = .048) and validation cohorts (P < .01).


MTGR greater than 0.04 mL/d is prognostic of death in patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with SABR. Increasing SUVV trends, nonsignificantly, toward increased risk of recurrence and death. MTGR and SUVV may be candidate imaging biomarkers to study in trials evaluating systemic therapy with SABR for patients at high risk of out-of-field recurrence.

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