Prognostic Significance of Post-Treatment PET/CT Following Salvage Re-irradiation of Head and Neck Cancers

March 7, 2016

Positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has been widely used to assess tumor response following chemoradiotherapy of head and neck cancer. In general, a negative post-treatment PET/CT is associated with a good prognosis. Nevertheless, in the setting of re-irradiation, an increasingly adopted salvage treatment modality, this association remains unclear. In this report, we explored the prognostic significance of PET/CT following re-irradiation.

Materials and Methods

The records of patients who underwent re-irradiation for recurrent or new primary head and neck cancer as well as PET/CT scans before and at 1.5 to 4.0 months after treatment were reviewed. Re-irradiation was given with intensity-modulated radiation therapy at a median dose of 60 GY with a cumulative dose of 130 GY. Concurrent chemotherapy was given in all but three patients. Semi-quantitative analyses of PET/CT were re-performed. Metabolic response was assessed using PET response criteria in solid tumors (PERCIST) criteria.

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