(18)F-FDG PET/CT for monitoring treatment responses to the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib.

Translational Imaging Division, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California 90095-7371, USA.
Journal of Nuclear Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.77). 11/2011; 52(11):1684-9. DOI: 10.2967/jnumed.111.095257
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Response rates of unselected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients to the epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib are low and range from 10% to 20%. Early response assessments are needed to avoid costs and side effects of inefficient treatments. Here we determined whether early changes in tumor uptake of (18)F-FDG can predict progression-free and overall survival in NSCLC patients who are treated with erlotinib.
Twenty-two patients (6 men, 16 women; mean age ± SD, 64 ± 13 y) with stage III or stage IV NSCLC who received erlotinib treatment were enrolled prospectively. (18)F-FDG PET/CT was performed before the initiation of treatment (n = 22), after 2 wk (n = 22), and after 78 ± 21 d (n = 11). Tumor maximum standardized uptake values were measured for a maximum of 5 lesions for each patient. Tumor responses were classified using modified PET Response Criteria in Solid Tumors (use of maximum standardized uptake values). Median overall survival by Kaplan-Meier analysis was compared between groups using a log-rank test.
The overall median time to progression was 52 d (95% confidence interval, 47-57 d). The overall median survival time was 131 d (95% confidence interval, 0-351 d). Patients with progressive metabolic disease on early follow-up PET showed a significantly shorter time to progression (47 vs. 119 d; P < 0.001) and overall survival (87 vs. 828 d; P = 0.01) than patients classified as having stable metabolic disease or partial or complete metabolic response.
These data suggest that (18)F-FDG PET/CT performed early after the start of erlotinib treatment can help to identify patients who benefit from this targeted therapy.

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