Prognostic Value of Metabolic Parameters of Metastatic Lymph Nodes on 18F-FDG PET/CT in Patients With Limited-stage Small-cell Lung Cancer With Lymph Node Involvement

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Abstract

Introduction

We assessed the prognostic value of the metabolic parameters of different lesions, including primary tumors and metastatic lymph nodes (LNs), measured by fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography in patients with limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (LS-SCLC) with LN metastasis.

Materials and Methods

The present retrospective study included 46 patients with clinical stage II-III N1-N2 LS-SCLC who had undergone pretreatment fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose PET/computed tomography scanning from January 2011 to December 2014. All patients underwent complete first-line therapy (concurrent chemoradiotherapy and prophylactic cranial irradiation). The metabolic parameters, including maximal standardized uptake value, mean standardized uptake value, metabolic tumor volume (MTV), and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) values of the PTs and metastatic LNs were measured on PET. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used for evaluation of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyze the prognostic factors.

Results

The median OS and PFS were 25.9 months (range, 8.2-63.5 months) and 21 months (range, 6.4-55.3 months), respectively. Univariate analysis demonstrated that the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, N1 station involvement, subcarinal LN metastasis, LN MTV, LN TLG, sum of the MTV, and summary of the TLG were significant predictive factors (P < .05). The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, subcarinal nodal metastasis, LN MTV, and LN TLG were independent predictive factors of PFS and OS on multivariate analysis.

Conclusion

The metabolic parameters of metastatic LNs, other than lung lesions, are independent prognostic factors in patients with LS-SCLC with LN metastasis. These parameters could further stratify the prognosis of these patients, and these findings might provide functional imaging evidence for the future study of the mechanisms of metastasis.

Micro-Abstract

Increasing evidence has suggested that positron emission tomography/computed tomography-related parameters have prognostic implications for patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). However, the results seem to be inconsistent for limited-stage (LS)-SCLC, and those studies did not explore the prognostic role of metastatic lymph nodes (LNs). We assessed the prognostic value of metabolic parameters of different lesions, including primary tumors and metastatic LNs in patients with LS-SCLC with LN metastasis. Our results suggest that the volume metabolic parameters of metastatic LNs, other than lung lesions, are promising imaging biomarkers in patients with LS-SCLC with LN metastasis. These parameters could further stratify the prognosis of these patients, and these findings might provide functional imaging evidence for the future study of the mechanisms of metastasis.

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