Assessing tumor response to neoadjuvant chemoradiation in rectal cancer with rectoscopy and 18f-fdg pet/ct: Results from a prospective series

Víctor López-López, Jesús Abrisqueta, Juan Luján, Patricio B. Lynn, Laura Frutos, Akiko Ono, Eduardo Ortiz, José J. López-Espín, José Gil, Pascual Parrilla

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5 Scopus citations


Introduction: Rectoscopy and 18F-FDG PET/CT as a diagnostic algorithm for the assessment of tumor response in rectal cancer after neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy (CRT) is very useful. Material and methods: This was a prospective longitudinal study in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with neoadjuvant CRT. Patients were assessed after CRT completion with a digital rectal examination, proctoscopy and 18F-FDG PET/CT. Patients were subdivided as clinical (cCR) or radiologic (rCR) responders and non-responders according to tumor response. Clinical and radiological re-assessment was compared with the surgical specimen. Pathological tumor regression (pCR) grade was determined according to Mandard's classification. Results: Of the 68 patients included, 15 (22 %) presented pCR in the surgical specimen and tumor persistence (non- PCR) was detected in the remaining 53 (78 %). Clinical assessment (DRE+ rectoscopy) identified 15 patients as cCR and 53 as non-cCR, two were false positives and two were false negatives. The overall accuracy was 94 %. 18F-FDG PET/CT identified 18 patients as rCR and 50 as non-rCR, one was a false positive and four were false negatives. The overall accuracy was 92 %. A combination of clinical findings and 18F-FDG PET/CT resulted in an accuracy of 96 %. The combination of clinical findings + 18F-FDG PET/CT was able to correctly identify all cases of pCR, with the exception of one case that presented a tumor regression of 80 %. Conclusion: In this series, 18F-PET-CT and clinical assessment had excellent accuracies in differentiating PCR from non-PCR after CRT completion. PET-CT combined with clinical assessment had a better accuracy than both modalities independently. 18F-FDG PET/CT is a valid tool that complements the clinical assessment of tumor response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Espanola de Enfermedades Digestivas
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gastroenterology

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