Aim: The most suitable method for assessment of response to peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) of neuroendocrine tumors (NET) is still under debate. In this study we aimed to compare size (RECIST 1.1), density (Choi), Standardized Uptake Value (SUV) and a newly defined ZP combined parameter derived from Somatostatin Receptor (SSR) PET/CT for prediction of both response to PRRT and overall survival (OS). Material and Methods: Thirty-four NET patients with progressive disease (F:M 23:11; mean age 61.2 y; SD ± 12) treated with PRRT using either Lu-177 DOTATOC or Lu-177 DOTATATE and imaged with Ga-68 SSR PET/CT approximately 10–12 weeks prior to and after each treatment cycle were retrospectively analyzed. Median duration of follow-up after the first cycle was 63.9 months (range 6.2–86.2). A total of 77 lesions (2–8 per patient) were analyzed. Response assessment was performed according to RECIST 1.1, Choi and modified EORTC (MORE) criteria. In addition, a new parameter named ZP, the product of Hounsfield unit (HU) and SUVmean (Standard Uptake Value) of a tumor lesion, was tested. Further, SUV values (max and mean) of the tumor were normalized to SUV of normal liver parenchyma. Tumor response was defined as CR, PR, or SD. Gold standard for comparison of baseline parameters for prediction of response of individual target lesions to PRRT was change in size of lesions according to RECIST 1.1. For prediction of overall survival, the response after the first and second PRRT were tested. Results: Based on RECIST 1.1, Choi, MORE, and ZP, 85.3%, 64.7%, 61.8%, and 70.6% achieved a response whereas 14.7%, 35.3%, 38.2%, and 29.4% demonstrated PD (progressive disease), respectively. Baseline ZP and ZPnormalized were found to be the only parameters predictive of lesion progression after three PRRT cycles (AUC ZP 0.753; 95% CI 0.6–0.9, p 0.037; AUC ZPnormalized 0.766; 95% CI 0.6–0.9; p 0.029). Based on a cut-off-value of 1201, ZP achieved a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 67%, while ZPnormalized reached a sensitivity of 86% and a specificity of 76% at a cut-off-value of 198. Median OS in the total cohort was not reached. In univariate analysis amongst all parameters, only patients having progressive disease according to MORE after the second cycle of PRRT were found to have significantly shorter overall survival (median OS in objective responders not reached, in PD 29.2 months; p 0.015). Patients progressive after two cycles of PRRT according to ZP had shorter OS compared to those responding (median OS for responders not reached, for PD 47.2 months, p 0.066). Conclusions: In this explorative study, we showed that Choi, RECIST 1.1, and SUVmax-based response evaluation varied significantly from each other. Only patients showing progressive disease after two PRRT cycles according to MORE criteria had a worse prognosis while baseline ZP and ZPnormalized performed best in predicting lesion progression after three cycles of PRRT.
- Ga-68 DOTATATE
- Ga-68 DOTATOC
- peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)