Imaging Parameters, Tumor Metrics Predict Pathologic Response Prior to Pancreas Cancer Resection

Leesburg, VA, December 9, 2020According to an open-access Editor’s Choice article in ARRS’ American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), post-neoadjuvant therapy (NAT) changes in metabolic metrics from PET/MRI and morphologic metrics from CT were associated with pathologic response and overall survival in patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA).

“Imaging metrics associated with pathologic response and overall survival in PDA could help guide clinical management and outcomes for patients with PDA receiving emergent therapeutic interventions,” wrote first author Ananya Panda of the department of radiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Panda and colleagues’ retrospective study included 44 patients (22 men, 22 women; average age 62) with 18F-FDG avid borderline resectable or locally advanced PDA on pre-treatment PET/MRI, who also underwent post-NAT PET/MRI prior to surgery between August 2016 and September 2019. CA 19-9, metabolic metrics from PET/MRI, and morphologic metrics from CT (n = 34) were compared between pathologic responders (College of American Pathologists scores 0 and 1] and nonresponders (scores 2 and 3). 

In borderline resectable or locally advanced pancreatic cancer undergoing neoadjuvant therapy, pre- vs. post-treatment changes in tumor metrics on PET/MRI (complete metabolic response, ΔSUVmax, ΔSUVgluc) and CT (RECIST, volume change) were associated with major pathologic response (AUC = 0.71-0.83; p < 0.05).

Reiterating that PET/MRI and CT metrics can help guide post-NAT pancreatic cancer treatment decisions, the authors of this AJR article concluded that by comparison, serum CA 19-9 was not associated with pathologic response or survival.
Click here to listen to the AJR Podcast associated with this article.

Please see the Editorial Comment by Jean H. Lee discussing this AJR article.

Founded in 1900, the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) is the first and oldest radiological society in North America, dedicated to the advancement of medicine through the profession of radiology and its allied sciences. An international forum for progress in medical imaging since the discovery of the x-ray, ARRS maintains its mission of improving health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills with an annual scientific meeting, monthly publication of the peer-reviewed American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR), quarterly issues of InPractice magazine, AJR Live Webinars and Podcasts, topical symposia, print and online educational materials, as well as awarding scholarships via The Roentgen Fund®.