We compared morphologic computed tomography (CT)-based to metabolic fluoro-deoxy-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/CT-based response evaluation in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer and correlated the findings with survival and KRAS status. From 2006 to 2009, patients were included in a phase II trial and treated with cetuximab and irinotecan every second week. They underwent FDG-PET/CT examination at baseline and after every fourth treatment cycle. Response evaluation was performed prospectively according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST 1.0) and retrospectively according to Positron Emission Tomography Response Criteria in Solid Tumors (PERCIST). Best overall responses were registered. Sixty-one patients were eligible for response evaluation. Partial response (PR) rate was 18%, stable disease (SD) rate 64%, and progressive disease (PD) rate 18%. Partial metabolic response (PMR) rate was 56%, stable metabolic disease rate 33%, and progressive metabolic disease (PMD) rate 11%. Response agreement was poor, κ-coefficient 0.19. Hazard ratio for overall survival for responders (PR/PMR) versus nonresponders (PD/PMD) was higher for CT- than for FDG-PET/CT evaluation. Within patients with KRAS mutations, none had PR but 44% had PMR. In conclusion, morphologic and metabolic response agreement was poor primarily because a large part of the patients shifted from SD with CT evaluation to PMR when evaluated with FDG-PET/CT. Furthermore, a larger fraction of the patients with KRAS mutations had a metabolic treatment response.
Cancer Medicine, 2014, Vol 3, Issue 5, p. 1294-1301