Quantitative 201Tl SPET imaging in the follow-up of treatment for brain tumour: a sensitive tool for the early identification of response to chemotherapy?

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to establish if repeated quantitative 201Tl SPET scanning during follow-up of astrocytoma therapy can provide information that is relevant for clinical management. Sixteen consecutive patients, with histopathologically verified highly malignant astrocytoma, were followed during PCV chemotherapy. Imaging with 201Tl SPET and CT was performed repeatedly over 8-16 weeks until treatment discontinuation, with a maximum follow-up of 74 weeks. Tumour uptake volume (TUV), a measure of metabolically active tumour tissue, was calculated from the SPET images. The reliability of early identification of treatment failure, defined as > 25% tumour volume increase, following one course (week 8) and three courses (week 24) of chemotherapy, was calculated for the two imaging methods. 201Tl SPET positive patients (> 25% tumour volume increase) were compared with 201Tl SPET negative patients in terms of time to treatment discontinuation (TTD) and survival time (ST). The patients were followed with a total of 59 SPET examinations, and treatment was continued for a median 27 weeks (range 16-78 weeks). The comparative reliability of SPET and CT showed the highest sensitivity and accuracy for SPET in the early identification of astrocytoma treatment failure at the week 24 assessment. Patients with positive 201Tl SPET after three courses of chemotherapy had a significantly reduced TTD (P = 0.040) but not significantly reduced ST. Of the ten patients who received concomitant radiation and chemotherapy, five had a small (0-10 ml) TUV at the week 24 assessment. Patients with a TUV > 10 ml at this assessment had a shorter TTD (P = 0.016) and a reduced ST (P = 0.024) compared to patients with a TUV < 10 ml. In conclusion, the assessment of progressive disease by quantitative 201Tl SPET appears to provide information on treatment response, earlier and with a higher reliability than CT. Repeated 201Tl SPET scanning during follow-up of astrocytoma treatment is an alternative tool for the early identification of treatment failure.

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  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-267
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Volume21
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes