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Does multiparametric imaging with F-18-FDG-PET/MRI capture spatial variation in immunohistochemical cancer biomarkers in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma?

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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to test if functional multiparametric imaging with 18F-FDG-PET/MRI correlates spatially with immunohistochemical biomarker status within a lesion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), and also whether a biopsy with the highest FDG uptake was more likely to have the highest PD-L1 expression or the highest percentage of vital tumour cells (VTC) compared with a random biopsy.

METHODS: Thirty-one patients with HNSCC were scanned on an integrated PET/MRI scanner with FDG prior to surgery in this prospective study. Imaging was quantified with SUV, ADC and Ktrans. A 3D-morphometric MRI scan of the specimen was used to co-register the patient and the specimen scans. All specimens were sectioned in consecutive slices, and slices from six different locations were selected randomly from each tumour. Core biopsies were performed to construct TMA blocks for IHC staining with the ten predefined biomarkers. The spatial correlation was assessed with a partial correlation analysis.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients with a total of 33 lesions were eligible for further analysis. There were significant correlations between the three imaging biomarkers and some of the IHC biomarkers. Moreover, a biopsy taken from the most FDG-avid part of the tumour did not have a statistically significantly higher probability of higher PD-L1 expression or VTC, compared with a random biopsy.

CONCLUSION: We found statistically significant correlations between functional imaging parameters and key molecular cancer markers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)46-53
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

ID: 59811227