Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology

, Volume 80, Issue 4, pp 729–735 | Cite as

Comparison of the RECIST and EORTC PET criteria in the tumor response assessment: a pooled analysis and review

  • Jung Han KimEmail author
  • Bum Jun Kim
  • Hyun Joo JangEmail author
  • Hyeong Su Kim
Original Article



The EORTC PET criteria (EORTC criteria) are used to assess metabolic tumor response in patients with solid tumors. We conducted this pooled study to compare tumor responses according to the RECIST and EORTC criteria.


Electronic databases were searched for eligible articles with the terms of “RECIST” or “EORTC criteria”. We found seven articles with the data on the comparison of tumor responses by the RECIST and EORTC criteria.


A total of 181 patients were recruited from the seven studies. Ninety-two patients (50.8%) received cytotoxic chemotherapy and 89 were treated with targeted agents. The agreement of tumor responses between the RECIST and EORTC criteria was moderate (k = 0.493). Of 181 patients, 66 (36.5%) showed disagreement in the tumor responses: tumor response was upgraded in 54 patients and downgraded in 12 when adopting the EORTC criteria. The estimated overall response rates were significantly different between the two criteria (52.5% by the EORTC vs. 29.8% by the RECIST, P < 0.0001). When comparing the two criteria according to the anti-cancer treatments (chemotherapy or targeted therapy), the levels of agreement in tumor responses were not excellent (k = 0.461 for chemotherapy and k = 0.524 for targeted therapy, respectively) regardless of therapeutic types.


This pooled study indicates that the concordance of tumor responses between the RECIST and EORTC criteria is not excellent. When adopting the EORTC criteria instead of the RECIST, the overall response rate was significantly increased.


RECIST EORTC criteria PET Tumor response 


Compliance with ethical standards


This work had no specific funding.

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hemato-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangnam Sacred-Heart HospitalHallym University Medical Center, Hallym University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineKoran Armed Forces Capital Hospital, The Armed Forces Medical CommandSungnamRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal MedicineDongtan Sacred-Heart Hospital, Hallym University Medical Center, Hallym University College of MedicineHwasungRepublic of Korea

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