Background: 4′-[Methyl-11C] thiothymidine (4DST) has been introduced as a new cell proliferation imaging PET tracer that incorporates into DNA directly. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of 4DST PET/CT for predicting responses to neoadjuvant therapy in patients with esophageal cancer comparing with FDG PET/CT. Methods: Twenty-six patients who had pre- and post-therapeutic 4DST and FDG PET/CT and underwent esophagectomy following neoadjuvant therapy were used for the analysis. Based on pathological findings, patients were divided into two groups: non-responders and responders. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume, total lesion glycolysis, and total lesion proliferation of the primary lesion were measured for FDG and 4DST PET. Results: The pathological diagnosis revealed 16 responders and 10 non-responders. Non-responders showed significantly higher 4DST post-therapeutic SUVmax ( post SUVmax) than responders, whereas FDG post SUVmax showed no statistically significant difference (non-responders vs. responders: 4DST, 6.7 vs. 3.3, p = 0.001; FDG, 6.1 vs. 4.5, p = 0.11). Responders showed a greater reduction in percentage changes of 4DST and FDG SUVmax (ΔSUVmax) from baseline to post-therapeutic PET (non-responders vs. responders: 4DST, − 2.9% vs. − 56.7%, p < 0.001; FDG, − 36.3% vs. − 72.6%, p < 0.001). In ROC analysis, ΔSUVmax and post SUVmax with 4DST provided great diagnostic performance for predicting responses (area under the curve: 4DST ΔSUVmax = 0.92, 4DST post SUVmax = 0.88). Conclusions: 4DST PET/CT has a great potential for predicting pathologic response to neoadjuvant therapy in patients with esophageal cancer; it may be slightly superior to that with FDG PET/CT.
- Esophageal cancer
- Therapeutic response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging