Prognostic significance of 18F-FDG uptake in hepatocellular carcinoma treated with transarterial chemoembolization or concurrent chemoradiotherapy: A multicenter retrospective cohort study

Jeong Won Lee, Jin Kyoung Oh, Yong An Chung, Sae Jung Na, Seung Hyup Hyun, Il Ki Hong, Jae Seon Eo, Bong Il Song, Tae Sung Kim, Do Young Kim, Seung Up Kim, Dae Hyuk Moon, Jong Doo Lee, Mijin Yun

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This study aimed to assess the prognostic value of 18F-FDG uptake in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who had transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) or concurrent intraarterial chemotherapy with external-beam radiotherapy (CCRT) and to compare the prognosis between patients treated with TACE and those with CCRT according to 18F-FDG uptake. Methods: Two hundred fourteen intermediate- to-advanced-stage HCC patients without extrahepatic metastasis who underwent staging 18F-FDG PET/CT before TACE (153 patients) or CCRT (61 patients) were recruited from 7 hospitals. Progressionfree survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were compared using an optimal cutoff value for tumor-to-normal liver uptake ratio (TLR). Further, PFS and OS were compared according to treatment modalities (TACE vs. CCRT) using the same TLR cutoff value. Results: On multivariate analysis, age and TLR were independent prognostic factors for PFS (P < 0.050). For OS, Child-Pugh classification and TLR were independent prognostic factors (P < 0.050). When the TLR was greater than 2.0, patients treated with CCRT showed significantly better PFS and OS than those treated with TACE after adjusting for tumor size and number (P = 0.014, for all). In contrast, there was no significant difference in PFS and OS between patients treated with TACE or CCRT when the TLR was 2.0 or less. Conclusion: 18F-FDG uptake was an independent prognostic factor for PFS and OS in HCC patients treated with TACE or CCRT. Especially, in HCCs with high 18F-FDG uptake, patients treated with CCRT showed better survival than those treated with TACE. 18F-FDG PET/CT may help determine the treatment modality for intermediate-to-advanced-stage HCCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-516
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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