Volumetric Versus Unidimensional Measures of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer in Assessing Disease Response

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Abstract

Micro-Abstract

Volumetric assessment may detect small but significant changes in tumor burden compared with unidimensional assessment. Discordant response classification has been demonstrated using unidimensional versus volumetric measures, but correlation with outcome is needed. This study compared unidimensional versus volumetric measures in metastatic colorectal cancer. Although some discordance was seen, volumetrics did not seem to better predict clinical outcome than unidimensional measures.

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to compare unidimensional (1D/linear) and volumetric (3D) measures of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) at computed tomography (CT) for predicting clinical outcome.

Patients and Methods

Analysis of CT images in 105 patients (mean age, 59 years; range, 25-81 years; 45 women, 60 men) receiving treatment for mCRC was performed. Both unidimensional and volumetric measures were obtained on index lesions at 3 time points (baseline/midpoint/post-therapy; mean interval, 4.1 months; median, 3.7 months) by 3 readers using a semi-automated technique. Measurements were summed and compared using best overall response across the 3 time points. Patient response was categorized based on Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) 1.1 thresholds for unidimensional and volume measures (CR, complete response; PR, partial response; SD, stable disease; PD, progressive disease). Survival data was correlated (mean follow-up, 19.9 ± 17.1 months; median, 14.7 months). Intra/interobserver variability and reproducibility of 1D and 3D measures was assessed. Cox survival and Kaplan-Meier models were constructed and compared.

Results

Cox models and Kaplan-Meier curves for unidimensional versus volumetric assessment were very similar in appearance. Both 1D and 3D measurements effectively separated PD from the SD/PR groups, but neither separated SD from PR well. Volumetric measures showed comparable intra/interobserver variability on Bland-Altman analysis to unidimensional measures across readers using a semi-automated measurement technique. Metastatic site (lung, liver, node, other) did not seem to impact measurement reproducibility.

Conclusions

Although CT volumetric assessment of metastatic colorectal cancer is fairly reproducible by reader and site using a semi-automated technique, the ability to stratify progressive disease from other disease response categories in terms of survival was similar to unidimensional measurement.

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