The Prognostic Value of 18F-FDG PET/CT for Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treated with Transarterial Chemoembolization (TACE)
The role of 18F FDG-PET in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has not been firmly established. We conducted this study to investigate the clinical implication of SUVmax on 18F FDG-PET as a prognostic factor in patients with HCC, especially in the metastatic setting. HCC patients with extrahepatic metastatic lesions were enrolled that were evaluated by 18F FDG-PET before palliative systemic therapy, between January 2002 and December 2009 at the Seoul National University Hospital. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical outcome and the value of the SUVmax. A total of 25 patients (men, 88.0%) were enrolled. The response rate and disease control rate was 18.2% (95% CI: 2.1–34.3) and 32.0% (95% CI: 16.3–56.5), respectively. The progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 2.3 months (95% CI: 1.1–3.4) and 14.2 months (95% CI: 9.1–19.2), respectively. The univariate analysis of OS showed that SUVmax and alphafetoprotein (AFP) were significant prognostic factors (P = 0.023 and P = 0.006, respectively). The multivariate analysis of OS showed that SUVmax and AFP were significant prognostic factors (P = 0.008 and P = 0.006, respectively). SUVmax and AFP were independent prognostic factors for PFS, too (P = 0.010 and P = 0.016, respectively). When the patients were divided according to the SUVmax and AFP, the patients with an SUVmax < 4.9 and an AFP ≤ 400 ng/ml showed longer OS and PFS than the patients with SUVmax ≥ 4.9 or AFP > 400 ng/ml (26.7 months vs. 9.3 months, P < 0.001 and 5.6 months vs. 1.7 months, P = 0.012, respectively). The SUVmax of the 18F FDG-PET has a prognostic value for OS and PFS in patients with metastatic HCC undergoing systemic therapy. The combined analysis of the SUVmax with AFP might provide more detailed prognostic information.