The Neuroimaging Center of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium-collaborative neuroimaging in pediatric brain tumor research: a work in progress.
ABSTRACT As an essential part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC), the Neuroimaging Center (NIC) is dedicated to infusing the study of pediatric brain tumors with imaging "best practice" by producing a correlative research plan that 1) resonates with novel therapeutic interventions being developed by the wider PBTC, 2) ensures that every PBTC protocol incorporates an imaging "end point" among its objectives, 3) promotes the widespread implementation of standardized technical protocols for neuroimaging, and 4) facilitates a quality assurance program that complies with the highest standards for image data transfer, diagnostic image quality, and data integrity. To accomplish these specific objectives, the NIC works with the various PBTC sites (10 in all, plus NCI/ National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke representation) to ensure that the overarching mission of the consortium--to better understand tumor biology and develop new therapies for central nervous system tumors in children--is furthered by creating a uniform body of imaging techniques, technical protocols, and standards. Since the inception of the NIC in 2003, this broader mandate has been largely accomplished through a series of site visits and meetings aimed at assessing prevailing neuroimaging practices against NIC-recommended protocols, techniques, and strategies for achieving superior image quality and executing the secure transfer of data to the central PBTC. These ongoing evaluations periodically examine investigations into targeted drug therapies. In the future, the NIC will concentrate its efforts on improving image analysis for MR imaging and positron-emission tomography (PET) and on developing new ligands for PET; imaging markers for radiation therapy; and novel systemic, intrathecal, and intralesional therapeutic interventions.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the variability in quantitation of positron emission tomography (PET) data acquired within the context of a multicenter consortium. PET quantitation phantoms designed by American Association of Physicists in Medicine/ Society of Nuclear Medicine Task Group 145 were sent to the ten member sites of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC), a NIH-funded research consortium investigating the biology and therapies for brain tumors in children. The phantoms were water-filled cylinders (18.6 cm inside height and 20.4 cm inside diameter) based on the standard ACR phantom with four small, "hot" cylinders of varying diameters (8, 12, 16, 25 mm, all with 38 mm height), consisting of an equilibrium mixture of 68Ge/68Ga in an epoxy matrix. At each site, the operator added the appropriate amount of 18F to the water in the background in order to attain a feature-to-background ratio of roughly 4:1. The phantom was imaged and reconstructed as if it were a brain PET scan for the PBTC. An approximately 12 mm circular region of interest (ROI) was placed over each feature and in a central area in the background. The mean and maximum pixel values for each ROI were requested from local sites in units of activity concentration (Bq/ml) and the standard uptake value (SUV) (g/mL) based on bodyweight. The activity concentration was normalized by the decay-corrected known activity concentration for the features, and reported as the absolute recovery coefficient (RC). In addition, central analyses were performed by two observers The ten sites successfully imaged the phantom within 5 months and submitted the quantitative results and the phantom image data to the PBTC Operations and Biostatistics Center. The local site-based and central analyses yielded similar mean values for RC. Local site-based SUV measurements of the hot cylindrical features yielded greater variability than central analysis (COV range of 29.9%-42.8% compared to 7.7%-23.2%). Correcting for miscalculations in the local site reported SUVs substantially reduced the variation to levels similar to the central analysis (COV range of 8.8%-18.4%) and also led to the local sites providing a similar mean of the SUV values to those from the central analysis. In the central analysis, the use of mean SUV in place of maximum SUV for an ROI of fixed size substantially reduced the variation in the SUV values (COV ranges of 7.7%-11.3% vs. 9.3%-23.2%). Based on this investigation, a SUV variability in the range of 10%-25% due solely to instrument and analysis factors can be expected in the context of a multicenter consortium if a central reading is used and quality assurance and quality control procedures are followed. The overall SUV variability can be expected to be larger than this due to biological and protocol factors.Medical Physics 07/2010; 37(7):3660-6. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to assess (18)F-FDG uptake in children with a newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic brain stem glioma (BSG) and to investigate associations with progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and MRI indices. Two Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) therapeutic trials in children with newly diagnosed BSG were designed to test radiation therapy combined with molecularly targeted agents (PBTC-007: phase I/II study of gefitinib; PBTC-014: phase I/II study of tipifarnib). Baseline brain (18)F-FDG PET scans were obtained in 40 children in these trials. Images were evaluated by consensus between 2 PET experts for intensity and uniformity of tracer uptake. Associations of (18)F-FDG uptake intensity and uniformity with both PFS and OS, as well as associations with tumor MRI indices at baseline (tumor volume on fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, baseline intratumoral enhancement, diffusion and perfusion values), were evaluated. In most of the children, BSG (18)F-FDG uptake was less than gray-matter uptake. Survival was poor, irrespective of intensity of (18)F-FDG uptake, with no association between intensity of (18)F-FDG uptake and PFS or OS. However, hyperintense (18)F-FDG uptake in the tumor, compared with gray matter, suggested poorer survival rates. Patients with (18)F-FDG uptake in 50% or more of the tumor had shorter PFS and OS than did patients with (18)F-FDG uptake in less than 50% of the tumor. There was some evidence that tumors with higher (18)F-FDG uptake were more likely to show enhancement, and when the diffusion ratio was lower, the uniformity of (18)F-FDG uptake appeared higher. Children with BSG for which (18)F-FDG uptake involves at least half the tumor appear to have poorer survival than children with uptake in less than 50% of the tumor. A larger independent study is needed to verify this hypothesis. Intense tracer uptake in the tumors, compared with gray matter, suggests decreased survival. Higher (18)F-FDG uptake within the tumor was associated with enhancement on MR images. Increased tumor cellularity as reflected by restricted MRI diffusion may be associated with increased (18)F-FDG uniformity throughout the tumor.Journal of Nuclear Medicine 02/2011; 52(2):188-95. · 5.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We report MRI findings from 2 pediatric clinical trials of diffuse intrinsic brainstem glioma (BSG) incorporating concurrent radiation therapy (RT) with molecularly targeted agents (gefitinib and tipifarnib). We determined associations of MRI variables with progression-free survival and overall survival and investigated effects of treatment on these variables. MRI (including diffusion and perfusion) was done before treatment, every 8 weeks (first year), every 12 weeks (thereafter), and at the end of treatment or disease progression. Reduced tumor volume (P < .0001) and tumor diffusion values (P <.0001) were apparent on the first post-RT/drug studies. Decreases in tumor volume correlated with pre-RT volume (P < .0001) and pre-RT diffusion values (P < .0001); larger decreases were noted for tumors with higher volumes and diffusion values. Patients with larger pre-RT tumors had longer progression-free survival (P < .0001). Patients with ≥ 25% decrease in tumor volume and diffusion values after RT had longer progression-free survival (P = .028) and overall survival (P = .0009). Enhancement at baseline and over time was significantly associated with shorter survival. Tumor diffusion values with baseline enhancement were significantly lower than those without (P = .0002). RT of BSG is associated with decreased tumor volume and intralesional diffusion values; patients with ≥ 25% decrease in values post-RT had relatively longer survival intervals, apparently providing an early imaging-based surrogate for relative outcomes. Patients with larger tumors and greater decreases in tumor volume and diffusion values had longer survival intervals. Tumor enhancement was associated with shorter survival, lower tumor diffusion values (increased cellularity), and a smaller drop in diffusion values after RT (P = .006). These associations justify continued investigation in other large clinical trials of brainstem glioma patients.Neuro-Oncology 02/2011; 13(4):417-27. · 6.18 Impact Factor