Pre-treatment FDG-PET predicts the site of in-field progression following concurrent chemoradiotherapy for stage III non-small cell lung cancer

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22 Scopus citations


Purpose: Locoregional progression following definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is common. In this study, we explore the utility of pre-treatment PET for predicting sites of disease progression following CRT. Methods: We identified patients treated at our institution with definitive, concurrent CRT for stage III NSCLC in the years 2007-2010 who underwent staging FDG-PET/CT. Using a semiautomatic gradient-based tool, visible thoracic hypermetabolic lesions were contoured on each patient's pre-treatment PET. Post-treatment imaging was reviewed to identify specific locations of disease progression. Patients' maximum SUV (SUVmax_pat) and metabolic tumor volume (MTV_pat) were evaluated as predictors of clinical outcomes using logrank testing. Competing risks analysis was performed to examine the relationship between lesion (tumor or lymph node) MTV (MTV_les) and the risk of local disease progression. Patient death and progression in other sites were treated as competing risks. Results: 28 patients with 82 hypermetabolic lesions (27 pulmonary tumors, 55 lymph nodes) met inclusion criteria. Median follow-up was 39.0 months for living patients. Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 12.4 months, and median overall survival (OS) was 31.8 months. Low MTV_pat was associated with improved PFS (median 14.3 months for MTV < 60. cc vs. 9.7 months for MTV > 60. cc, p=0.039). MTV_les was strongly associated with the risk of local disease progression. The 2-year cumulative incidence rate (CIR) for progression in lesions larger than 25. cc was 45%, compared to 5% for lesions under 25. cc (p<0.001). Conclusion: Pre-treatment PET can be used to identify specific lesions at high risk for treatment failure following definitive CRT for locally advanced NSCLC. Selective treatment intensification to high-risk lesions should be studied as a strategy to improve clinical outcomes in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Metabolic tumor volume
  • Non-small cell lung cancer
  • Patterns of failure
  • SUV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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