While methods for imaging tumor hypoxia with positron emission tomography (PET) have been developed, optimal methods for interpreting and utilizing these datasets in the clinic remain unclear. In this study, we analyzed hypoxia PET images of head and neck cancer patients and compared imaging metrics with human papilloma virus (HPV) status and clinical outcome.Forty-one patients treated as part of a phase III trial of the hypoxic cytotoxin tirapazamine (TROG 02.02) were imaged with PET using fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and fluoroazomycin arabinoside (FAZA). FDG and FAZA PET images were interpreted qualitatively and quantitatively, and compared with tumor T stage, HPV status, and treatment outcome using multivariate statistics.PET signals in the tumor and lymph nodes exhibited significant intra- and inter-patient variability. The FAZA hypoxic volume demonstrated a significant correlation with tumor T stage. PET-hypoxic tumors treated with cisplatin exhibited significantly worse treatment outcomes relative to PET-oxic tumors or PET-hypoxic tumors treated with tirapazamine.Quantitative analysis of FAZA PET yielded metrics that correlated with clinical T stage and were capable of stratifying patient outcome. These results encourage further development of this technology, with particular emphasis on establishment of robust quantitative methods.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00259-015-3247-7
View details for PubMedID 26577940
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4767583