Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2015 February 13 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Marin-Oyaga VA, Salavati A, Houshmand S, Pasha AK, Gharavi M, Saboury B, Basu S, Torigian DA, Alavi A.



Treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains very challenging. Assessment of response to treatment is necessary for modifying treatment and using new drugs. Global disease assessment (GDA) by implementing image processing methods to extract more information out of positron emission tomography (PET) images may provide reliable information. In this study we show the feasibility of this method of semi-quantification in patients with mesothelioma, and compare it with the conventional methods. We also present a review of the literature about this topic.


Nineteen subjects with histologically proven MPM who had undergone fluoride-18-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) before and after treatment were included in this study. An adaptive contrast-oriented thresholding algorithm was used for the image analysis and semi-quantification. Metabolic tumor volume (MTV), maximum and mean standardized uptake volume (SUVmax, SUVmean) and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) were calculated for each region of interest. The global tumor glycolysis (GTG) was obtained by summing up all TLG. Treatment response was assessed by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) criteria and the changes of GTG. Agreement between global disease assessment and conventional method was also determined.


In patients with progressive disease based on EORTC criteria, GTG showed an increase of 150.7 but in patients with stable or partial response, GTG showed a decrease of 433.1. The SUVmax of patients before treatment was 5.95 (SD: 2.93) and after the treatment it increased to 6.38 (SD: 3.19). Overall concordance of conventional method with GDA method was 57%. Concordance of progression of disease based on conventional method was 44%, stable disease was 85% and partial response was 33%. Discordance was 55%, 14% and 66%.


Adaptive contrast-oriented thresholding algorithm is a promising method to quantify the whole tumor glycolysis in patients with mesothelioma. We are able to assess the total metabolic lesion volume, lesion glycolysis, SUVmax, tumor SUVmean and GTG for this particular tumor. Also we were able to demonstrate the potential use of this technique in the monitoring of treatment response. More studies comparing this technique with conventional and other global disease assessment methods are needed in order to clarify its role in the assessment of treatment response and prognosis of these patients.