Impact of FDG-PET-induced treatment choices on long-term outcome in non-small cell lung cancer
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Respiration. - Basel
, p. 97-104
Background: The TNM staging reflects the anatomic extent of lung cancer and estimates the survival expectation. Addition of FDG-PET to conventional staging (CS) improves accuracy, but few data have described the impact of this on long-term survival in relation to treatment. Objectives: To study the influence of FDG-PET on long-term outcome. Methods: Long-term outcome data of patients were retrieved out of previously published PET studies of the Leuven Lung Cancer Group. All patients had a potential for radical treatment, and at least 5-year follow-up data. Patients were dichotomized in early (IIIIA) versus late (IIIBIV) stages. Results: A first analysis comparison of the 2 staging algorithms, CS alone versus CS+PET confirmed the better staging capabilities of the latter. A second analysis, focusing on discordant findings and interaction of both staging algorithms, demonstrated that patients with early stage on PET did well, while those with late stage on PET did poorly, irrespective of findings on CS. The third analysis focused on the relation between treatment choices at the multidisciplinary board and outcome, which is especially relevant in patients with discordant finding on CS and CS+PET. From all radically treated patients, only those with early stage on CS+PET had a good outcome, but not those with early stage on CS and an unexplained late stage finding on PET. Conclusion: This long-term follow-up analysis confirms that addition of PET to CS results in better stage designation and prognosis. Additionally, discordant findings between CS and CS+PET should be considered relevant, with need for cytological/histological examination.