Lundsgaard Hansen, Martin2; Fallentin, Eva2; Lauridsen, Carsten2; Law, Ian2; Federspiel, Birgitte2; Bæksgaard, Lene2; Svendsen, Lars Bo3; Nielsen, Michael Bachmann3
1 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 unknown3 Department of Clinical Medicine, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether early reductions in CT perfusion parameters predict response to pre-operative chemotherapy prior to surgery for gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) and gastric cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight patients with adenocarcinoma of the gastro-esophageal junction (GEJ) and stomach were included. Patients received three series of chemotherapy before surgery, each consisting of a 3-week cycle of intravenous epirubicin, cisplatin or oxaliplatin, concomitant with capecitabine peroral. The patients were evaluated with a CT perfusion scan prior to, after the first series of, and after three series of chemotherapy. The CT perfusion scans were performed using a 320-detector row scanner. Tumour volume and perfusion parameters (arterial flow, blood volume and permeability) were computed on a dedicated workstation with a consensus between two radiologists. Response to chemotherapy was evaluated by two measures. Clinical response was defined as a tumour size reduction of more than 50%. Histological response was evaluated based on residual tumour cells in the surgical specimen using the standardized Mandard Score 1 to 5, in which values of 1 and 2 were classified as responders, and 3 to 5 were classified as nonresponders. RESULTS: A decrease in tumour permeability after one series of chemotherapy was positively correlated with clinical response after three series of chemotherapy. Significant changes in permeability and tumour volume were apparent after three series of chemotherapy in both clinical and histological responders. A cut-off value of more than 25% reduction in tumour permeability yielded a sensitivity of 69% and a specificity of 58% for predicting clinical response. CONCLUSION: Early decrease in permeability is correlated with the likelihood of clinical response to pre-operative chemotherapy in GEJ and gastric cancer. As a single diagnostic test, CT Perfusion only has moderate sensitivity and specificity in response assessment of pre-operative chemotherapy making it insufficient for clinical decision purposes.