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Upfront PET/CT affects management decisions in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

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  • Max Rohde
  • Anne L Nielsen
  • Jørgen Johansen
  • Jens A Sørensen
  • Anabel Diaz
  • Manan Pareek
  • Jon T Asmussen
  • Oke Gerke
  • Anders Thomassen
  • Niels Gyldenkerne
  • Helle Døssing
  • Kristine Bjørndal
  • Poul Flemming Høilund-Carlsen
  • Christian Godballe
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PURPOSE: To compare multidisciplinary team conference (MDTC) decisions regarding treatment intent based on either chest X-ray + MRI of the head and neck (CXR/MRI) or 18F-FDG-PET/CT (PET/CT) in patients with recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

METHODS: Prospective blinded cohort study based on paired data. Consecutive patients with suspected recurrent HNSCC were invited to participate. All included patients underwent CXR/MRI and PET/CT before diagnostic biopsy. An ordinary MDTC using all available imaging data was conducted as per standard practice. After at least three months (to eliminate recall bias in the team), the first project MDTC, based on either CXR/MRI or PET/CT, was conducted, and the tumor board made conclusions regarding treatment. After an additional three months, a second project MDTC was conducted using the complementary imaging strategy. The separate treatment strategies were compared using McNemar's test.

RESULTS: A total of 110 patients (90 males and 20 females, median age 66 years, range 40-87) were included. The initial primary tumor originated from the pharynx in 56 (51%) patients, oral cavity in 17 (15%) patients, and larynx in 37 (34%) patients. Based on CXR/MRI, 87 patients (79%) were recommended curative treatment and 23 (21%) palliative treatment. Based on PET/CT, the MDTC decided that 52 (47%) patients were suitable for curative treatment and 58 (53%) for palliative treatment. The absolute difference of 32% was statistically significant (95% CI: 22-42%, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: PET/CT affected MDTC decisions in patients with recurrent HNSCC towards less curative and more palliative treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOral Oncology
Volume94
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
ISSN1368-8375
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 57341877