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This study explores various volume of interest (VOI) delineation techniques for fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography with computed tomography (18F-FDG PET-CT) scans during neoadjuvant extremity soft tissue sarcoma (ESTS) treatment.
During neoadjuvant treatment, hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP) and preoperative external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), 11 patients underwent three 18F-FDG PET-CT scans. The first scan was made prior to the HILP, the second after the HILP but prior to the start of the EBRT, and the third prior to surgical resection. An automatically drawn VOIauto, a manually drawn VOIman, and two gradient-based semi-automatically drawn VOIs (VOIgrad and VOIgrad+) were obtained. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), SUVpeak, SUVmean, metabolically active tumor volume (MATV), and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) were calculated from each VOI. The correlation and level of agreement between VOI delineation techniques was explored. Lastly, the changes in metabolic tumor activity were related to the histopathologic response. The strongest correlation and an acceptable level of agreement was found between the VOIman and the VOIgrad+ delineation techniques. A decline (VOIman) in SUVmax, SUVpeak, SUVmean, TLG, and MATV (all p < 0.05) was found between the three scans. A > 75% decline in TLG between scan 1 and scan 3 possibly identifies histopathologic response.
The VOIgrad+ delineation technique was identified as most reliable considering reproducibility when compared with the other VOI delineation techniques during the multimodality neoadjuvant treatment of locally advanced ESTS. A significant decline in metabolic tumor activity during the treatment was found. TLG deserves further exploration as predictor for histopathologic response after multimodality ESTS treatment.