FDG-PET/CT based response-adapted treatment

L. de Geus-Oei, D. Vriens, A. Arens, M. Hutchings and W. Oyen

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, The Netherlands. l.degeus-oei@nucmed.umcn.nl



It has been shown that [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) provides robust and reproducible data for early metabolic response assessment in various malignancies. This led to the initiation of several prospective multicenter trials in malignant lymphoma and adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction, in order to investigate whether the use of PET-guided treatment individualization results in a survival benefit. In Hodgkin lymphoma and aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, several trials are ongoing. Some studies aim to investigate the use of PET in early identification of metabolic non-responders in order to intensify treatment to improve survival. Other studies aim at reducing toxicity without adversely affecting cure rates by safely de-escalating therapy in metabolic responders. In solid tumors the first PET response-adjusted treatment trials have been realized in adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction. These trials showed that patients with an early metabolic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy benefit from this treatment, whereas metabolic non-responders should switch early to surgery, thus reducing the risk of tumor progression during chemotherapy and the risk of toxic death. The trials provide a model for designing response-guided treatment algorithms in other malignancies. PET-guided treatment algorithms are the promise of the near future; the choice of therapy, its intensity, and its duration will become better adjusted to the biology of the individual patient. Today's major challenge is to investigate the impact on patient outcome of personalized response-adapted treatment concepts.