Textural features of 18F-FDG PET after two cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy can predict pCR in patients with locally advanced breast cancer
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This study was designed to evaluate the utility of textural features for predicting pathological complete response (pCR) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).
Sixty-one consecutive patients with locally advanced breast cancer underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT scanning at baseline and after the second course of NAC. Changes to imaging parameters [maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG)] and textural features (entropy, coarseness, skewness) between the 2 scans were measured by two independent radiologists. Pathological responses were reviewed by one pathologist, and the significance of the predictive value of each parameter was analyzed using a Chi-squared test. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to compare the area under the curve (AUC) for each parameter.
pCR was observed more often in patients with HER2-positive tumors (22 patients) than in patients with HER2-negative tumors (5 patients) (71.0 vs. 16.7%, p < 0.001). ∆ %SUVmax, ∆ %entropy and ∆ %coarseness were significantly useful for differentiating pCR from non-pCR in the HER2-negative group, and the AUCs for these parameters were 0.928, 0.808 and 0.800, respectively (p = 0.003, 0.032 and 0.037). In the HER2-positive group, ∆ %SUVmax and ∆ %skewness were moderately useful for predicting pCR, and the respective AUCs were 0.747 and 0.758 (p = 0.033 and 0.026). Although there was no significant difference in the AUCs between groups for these parameters, an additional 3/22 patients in the HER2-positive group with pCR were identified when ∆ %skewness and ∆ %SUVmax were considered together (p = 0.031). The absolute values for each parameter before NAC and after 2 cycles cannot predict pCR in our patients. Neither ∆ %MTV nor ∆ %TLG was efficiently predictive of pCR in any group.
The early changes in the textural features of 18F-FDG PET images after two cycles of NAC are predictive of pCR in both HER2-negative and HER2-positive patients; this evidence warrants confirmation by further research.
KeywordsBreast cancer 18F-FDG PET Neoadjuvant chemotherapy Textural feature
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