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Title: What Does PET Imaging Add to Conventional Staging of Head and Neck Cancer Patients?

Abstract

Purpose: To determine the value of PET scans in the staging of patients with head and neck carcinoma. Methods and Materials: The charts of 25 patients who underwent neck dissection, computed tomography (CT) scan, and F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging as part of their initial work-up for a head and neck squamous cell cancer between 2000-2003 were reviewed. All patients underwent clinical examination, triple endoscopy, and chest radiograph as part of their clinical staging, adhering to American Joint Commission for Cancer criteria. In addition to the clinical nodal (N) stage, PET findings were incorporated to determine a second type of N staging: clinical N + PET stage. The number of neck sides and nodal levels involved on CT or PET and on pathologic examination were recorded. Results: The sensitivity and specificity for detection of nodal disease were similar for CT and FDG-PET. Positive and negative likelihood ratios were similar for both diagnostic tests. None of our 25 patients had unsuspected distant disease detected by PET. Conclusion: The addition of PET imaging did not improve diagnostic accuracy in our patients compared with CT. PET scanning did not alter clinical management in any of the patients.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [4];  [5]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY (United States) and Department of Radiation Oncology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA (United States). E-mail: poharss@evms.edu
  2. Department of Radiation Oncology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY (United States)
  3. Department of Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY (United States)
  4. Department of Otolaryngology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY (United States)
  5. Department of Radiology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20951656
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 68; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.12.044; PII: S0360-3016(07)00065-X; Copyright (c) 2007 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands, All rights reserved; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; ACCURACY; CARCINOMAS; CHEST; COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY; FLUORINE 18; FLUORODEOXYGLUCOSE; HEAD; IMAGES; NECK; PATIENTS; POSITRON COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY; SENSITIVITY; SPECIFICITY

Citation Formats

Pohar, Surjeet, Brown, Robert B.S., Newman, Nancy, Koniarczyk, Michael, Hsu, Jack, and Feiglin, David. What Does PET Imaging Add to Conventional Staging of Head and Neck Cancer Patients?. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.12.044.
Pohar, Surjeet, Brown, Robert B.S., Newman, Nancy, Koniarczyk, Michael, Hsu, Jack, & Feiglin, David. What Does PET Imaging Add to Conventional Staging of Head and Neck Cancer Patients?. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.12.044.
Pohar, Surjeet, Brown, Robert B.S., Newman, Nancy, Koniarczyk, Michael, Hsu, Jack, and Feiglin, David. Fri . "What Does PET Imaging Add to Conventional Staging of Head and Neck Cancer Patients?". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.12.044.
@article{osti_20951656,
title = {What Does PET Imaging Add to Conventional Staging of Head and Neck Cancer Patients?},
author = {Pohar, Surjeet and Brown, Robert B.S. and Newman, Nancy and Koniarczyk, Michael and Hsu, Jack and Feiglin, David},
abstractNote = {Purpose: To determine the value of PET scans in the staging of patients with head and neck carcinoma. Methods and Materials: The charts of 25 patients who underwent neck dissection, computed tomography (CT) scan, and F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) imaging as part of their initial work-up for a head and neck squamous cell cancer between 2000-2003 were reviewed. All patients underwent clinical examination, triple endoscopy, and chest radiograph as part of their clinical staging, adhering to American Joint Commission for Cancer criteria. In addition to the clinical nodal (N) stage, PET findings were incorporated to determine a second type of N staging: clinical N + PET stage. The number of neck sides and nodal levels involved on CT or PET and on pathologic examination were recorded. Results: The sensitivity and specificity for detection of nodal disease were similar for CT and FDG-PET. Positive and negative likelihood ratios were similar for both diagnostic tests. None of our 25 patients had unsuspected distant disease detected by PET. Conclusion: The addition of PET imaging did not improve diagnostic accuracy in our patients compared with CT. PET scanning did not alter clinical management in any of the patients.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.12.044},
journal = {International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics},
number = 2,
volume = 68,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Fri Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Purpose: To evaluate the role of hypoxia positron emission tomography (PET) using [{sup 18}F]fluoroazomycin-arabinoside (FAZA) in head and neck cancer for radiation treatment planning using intensity-modulated radiotherapy and dose painting. Methods and Materials: Eighteen patients with advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer were included. Both FAZA-PET and axial CT were performed using mask fixation. The data were coregistered using software based on mutual information. Contours of tumor (primary gross tumor volume, GTV/CT-P) and lymph node metastases (GTV/CT-N) were outlined manually, and FAZA standardized uptake values (SUVs) were calculated automatically. The hypoxic subvolume (GTV/PET-FAZA) having at least 50% more FAZAmore » uptake than background (mean SUV) neck muscle tissue was contoured automatically within GTV/CT-P (GTV/PET-FAZA-P) and GTV/CT-N (GTV/PET-FAZA-N). Results: The median GTV/PET-FAZA-P was 4.6 mL, representing 10.8% (range, 0.7-52%) of the GTV/CT-P. The GTV/PET-FAZA-P failed to correlate significantly with the GTV/CT-P (p = 0.06). The median GTV/PET-FAZA-N was 4.1 mL, representing 8.3% (range, 2.2-51.3%) of the GTV/CT-N. It was significantly correlated with the GTV/PET-N (p = 0.006). The GTV/PET-FAZA-P was located in a single confluent area in 11 of 18 patients (61%) and was diffusely dispersed in the whole GTV/CT-P in 4 of 18 patients (22%), whereas no hypoxic areas were identified in 3 of 18 patients (17%). The GTV/PET-FAZA-N was outlined as a single confluent region in 7 of 18 patients (39%), in multiple diffuse hypoxic regions in 4 of 18 patients (22%), and was not delineated in 7 of 18 patients (39%). Conclusion: This study demonstrates that FAZA-PET imaging could be used for a hypoxia-directed intensity-modulated radiotherapy approach in head and neck cancer.« less
  • Background: A growing body of in vitro evidence links alterations of the intermediary metabolism in cancer to treatment outcome. This study aimed to characterize tumor oxidative metabolism and perfusion in vivo using dynamic positron emission tomography (PET) with 1- [{sup 11}C]-acetate (ACE) during radiotherapy. Methods and Materials: Nine patients with head-and-neck cancer were studied. Oxidative metabolic rate (k{sub mono}) and perfusion (rF) of the primary tumors were assessed by dynamic ACE-PET at baseline and after 15, 30, and 55 Gy was delivered. Tumor glucose uptake (Tglu) was evaluated with [{sup 18}F]-fluorodeoxyglucose PET at baseline. Patients were grouped into complete (CR,more » n = 6) and partial responders (PR, n = 3) to radiotherapy. Results: The 3 PR patients died within a median follow-up period of 33 months. Baseline k{sub mono} was almost twice as high in CR as in PR (p = 0.02) and Tglu was lower in CR than in PR (p = 0.04). k{sub mono} increased during radiotherapy in PR (p = 0.004) but remained unchanged in CR. There were no differences in rF between CR and PR at any dosage. k{sub mono} and rF were coupled in CR (p = 0.001), but not in PR. Conclusions: This study shows that radiosensitive tumors might rely predominantly on oxidative metabolism for their bioenergetic needs. The impairment of oxidative metabolism in radioresistant tumors is potentially reversible, suggesting that therapies targeting the intermediary metabolism might improve treatment outcome.« less
  • Purpose: To evaluate the impact of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) imaging on nodal staging for head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Methods and Materials: The study population consisted of 23 patients with head-and-neck SCC who were evaluated with FDG-PET/CT and went on to neck dissection. Two observers consensually determined the lesion size and maximum standardized uptake value (SUV{sub max}) and compared the results with pathologic findings on nodal-level involvement. Two different observers (A and B) independently performed three protocols for clinical nodal staging. Methods 1, 2, and 3 were based on conventional modalities, additional visual information from FDG-PET/CT images,more » and FDG-PET/CT imaging alone with SUV data, respectively. Results: All primary tumors were visualized with FDG-PET/CT. Pathologically, 19 positive and 93 negative nodal levels were identified. The SUV{sub max} overlapped in negative and positive nodes <15 mm in diameter. According to receiver operating characteristics analysis, the size-based SUV{sub max} cutoff values were 1.9, 2.5, and 3.0 for lymph nodes <10 mm, 10-15 mm, and >15 mm, respectively. These cutoff values yielded 79% sensitivity and 99% specificity for nodal-level staging. For Observer A, the sensitivity and specificity in Methods 1, 2, and 3 were 68% and 94%, 68% and 99%, and 84% and 99%, respectively, and Method 3 yielded significantly higher accuracy than Method 1 (p = 0.0269). For Observer B, Method 3 yielded the highest sensitivity (84%) and specificity (99%); however, the difference among the three protocols was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Imaging with FDG-PET/CT with size-based SUV{sub max} cutoff values is an important modality for radiation therapy planning.« less
  • Purpose: Taste alterations (dysgeusia) are well described in head and neck cancer patients who undergo radiotherapy (RT). Anecdotal observations and pilot studies have suggested zinc may mitigate these symptoms. This multi-institutional, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted to provide definitive evidence of this mineral's palliative efficacy. Methods and Materials: A total of 169 evaluable patients were randomly assigned to zinc sulfate 45 mg orally three times daily vs. placebo. Treatment was to be given throughout RT and for 1 month after. All patients were scheduled to receive {>=}2,000 cGy of external beam RT to {>=}30% of the oral cavity, were ablemore » to take oral medication, and had no oral thrush at study entry. Changes in taste were assessed using the previously validated Wickham questionnaire. Results: At baseline, the groups were comparable in age, gender, and planned radiation dose (<6,000 vs. {>=}6,000 cGy). Overall, 61 zinc-treated (73%) and 71 placebo-exposed (84%) patients described taste alterations during the first 2 months (p = 0.16). The median interval to taste alterations was 2.3 vs. 1.6 weeks in the zinc-treated and placebo-exposed patients, respectively (p = 0.09). The reported taste alterations included the absence of any taste (16%), bitter taste (8%), salty taste (5%), sour taste (4%), sweet taste (5%), and the presence of a metallic taste (10%), as well as other descriptions provided by a write in response (81%). Zinc sulfate did not favorably affect the interval to taste recovery. Conclusion: Zinc sulfate, as prescribed in this trial, did not prevent taste alterations in cancer patients who were undergoing RT to the oral pharynx.« less
  • Purpose: Validate the consistency of a gradient-based segmentation tool to facilitate accurate delineation of PET/CT-based GTVs in head and neck cancers by comparing against hybrid PET/MR-derived GTV contours. Materials and Methods: A total of 18 head and neck target volumes (10 primary and 8 nodal) were retrospectively contoured using a gradient-based segmentation tool by two observers. Each observer independently contoured each target five times. Inter-observer variability was evaluated via absolute percent differences. Intra-observer variability was examined by percentage uncertainty. All target volumes were also contoured using the SUV percent threshold method. The thresholds were explored case by case so itsmore » derived volume matched with the gradient-based volume. Dice similarity coefficients (DSC) were calculated to determine overlap of PET/CT GTVs and PET/MR GTVs. Results: The Levene’s test showed there was no statistically significant difference of the variances between the observer’s gradient-derived contours. However, the absolute difference between the observer’s volumes was 10.83%, with a range from 0.39% up to 42.89%. PET-avid regions with qualitatively non-uniform shapes and intensity levels had a higher absolute percent difference near 25%, while regions with uniform shapes and intensity levels had an absolute percent difference of 2% between observers. The average percentage uncertainty between observers was 4.83% and 7%. As the volume of the gradient-derived contours increased, the SUV threshold percent needed to match the volume decreased. Dice coefficients showed good agreement of the PET/CT and PET/MR GTVs with an average DSC value across all volumes at 0.69. Conclusion: Gradient-based segmentation of PET volume showed good consistency in general but can vary considerably for non-uniform target shapes and intensity levels. PET/CT-derived GTV contours stemming from the gradient-based tool show good agreement with the anatomically and metabolically more accurate PET/MR-derived GTV contours, but tumor delineation accuracy can be further improved with the use PET/MR.« less