Prospective Assessment of Fluorine-18-Fluorodeoxyglucose-Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (FDG-PET/CT) for Early Identification of Checkpoint-Inhibitor-Induced Pseudoprogression

Abstract

The activity of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in patients with metastatic melanoma is often monitored using fluorine-18-fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) scans. However, distinguishing disease progression (PD) from pseudoprogression (PsPD), where increased FDG uptake might reflect immune cell activity rather than tumor growth, remains a challenge. This prospective study compared the efficacy of dual-time point (DTP) FDG-PET/CT with modified response criteria (PERCIMT) in differentiating PsPD from PD. From July 2017-January 2021, 41 patients suspected to have PsPD on an evaluation scan were prospectively included (29 evaluable). A subsequent DTP FDG-PET/CT scan was conducted within 14 days, followed by a confirmatory FDG-PET/CT scan. Additionally, PERCIMT were applied. DTP FDG-PET/CT identified 24% with PsPD and 76% with PD. Applying PERCIMT criteria, 69% showed PsPD, while 31% had PD. On follow-up, 10 patients (34%) demonstrated confirmed PsPD, while 19 (66%) exhibited PD. The sensitivity and specificity of DTP FDG-PET/CT were 20% and 74%, respectively, and for PERCIMT this was 80% and 37%, respectively. Our findings suggest limited efficacy of DTP FDG-PET/CT in distinguishing PsPD from PD in ICI-treated patients with metastatic melanoma. The use of PERCIMT could complement clinical assessment and be incorporated in multidisciplinary team conferences for enhanced decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Article number964
JournalCancers
Volume16
Issue number5
ISSN2072-6694
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024

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