The objective of this retrospective study was to assess the likelihood of extrahepatic metastases based on tumor metabolic load index (TMLI) for patients with colorectal liver metastases to determine the potential intermediate endpoint of yttrium-90 (Y-90) microsphere liver-directed therapy. Forty-eight (48) patients with colorectal metastatic cancer of the liver who were referred for Y-90 microsphere therapy and F-18 fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose positron emission tomography (PET) imaging were included. All patients had baseline computed tomography, hepatic angiography, and planning intra-arterial technetium-99m macro-aggregated albumin scans. Pretreatment PET images were analyzed by visual inspection of extrahepatic metastases and by computer quantification of total liver tumor metabolism. For each patient, regions of interest were drawn along the liver edge to measure total liver standard uptake value on axial images, covering the entire span of the liver. The total liver standard uptake value was then converted by logarithm in equivalent volumes of liver mass to obtain TMLI for comparison. A Levene test for equality of variances and t-tests were used for comparing pretreatment TMLIs of patients with or without extrahepatic metastasis. Discriminant and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were used to obtain a cutoff value with highest specificity in predicting negative extrahepatic metastasis. There were 21 and 27 patients identified as negative and positive for extrahepatic metastasis, respectively. The TMLI of the group with negative extrahepatic metastasis was significantly lower than that with positive extrahepatic metastasis (10.22+0.32 versus 10.74+0.57, p<0.0005). The cutoff TMLI with 100% specificity was found to be 10.65. There was a significant difference in liver tumor load with respect to the presence or absence of an extrahepatic metastatic tumor as evaluated objectively with PET. This leads to the identification of TMLI threshold, below which extrahepatic metastases are unlikely and thus may provide guidance for Y-90 therapy.
- Extrahepatic metastatic potential
- PET endpoint of tumor load reduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research