Pretreatment 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography Standardized Uptake Values and Tumor Size in Medically Inoperable Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer Is Prognostic of Overall 2-Year Survival After Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy

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The aim of this study was to determine prognostic value of tumor size and metabolic activity on survival for patients with early stage nonsmall cell lung cancer receiving stereotactic body radiation therapy.


We retrospectively evaluated the patients who underwent positron emission tomography–computed tomography scan before stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment. Tumor diameter, tumor volume, maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), standardized uptake value (SUV) average, and SUV volume were obtained. Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the associations between tumor characteristics and survival.


The patients with large tumors and high SUVmax have worse survival than patients with small tumors and low SUVmax (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.47, P = 0.007). Patients with small tumors and high SUVmax (HR = 1.80; P = 0.24) and large tumors and low SUVmax (HR = 1.55; P = 0.43) had increased risk of death compared with patients with small tumors and low SUVmax.


Both increased tumor size and metabolic activity are associated with increased risk of death. Combining size and metabolic activity together is superior for predicting 2-year survival and identifying patients for whom survival is statistically worse.

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