OBJECTIVE: The role of amino acid positron emission tomography (PET) in glioma grading and outcome prognostication has not yet been well established. This is particularly true in the context of the new WHO 2016 classification, which introduced a definition of glioma subtypes primarily based on molecular fingerprints. The aim of the present study was to correlate 3,4‑dihydroxy‑6‑[18F]‑fluoro-L‑phenylalanine (F-DOPA) uptake parameters with IDH mutation, 1p/19q status, and survival outcomes in patients with glioma.
METHODS: The study population consisted of 33 patients (17 M/16 F, mean age: 46 ± 13 years) who underwent F-DOPA PET/CT for the evaluation of tumor extent before the start of chemo or radiotherapy. The presence of IDH mutation and 1p/19q status was assessed in all the cases. Tumor volume and semiquantitative uptake parameters, namely SUVmax, tumor-to-normal brain ratio and tumor-to-normal striatum ratio, were calculated for each tumor. Imaging-derived parameters were compared between patients stratified according to molecular fingerprints, using parametric or non-parametric tests, where appropriate. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to assess differences of overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) between groups. PET parameters were also tested as prognostic factors in univariate Cox survival regression models.
RESULTS: There were 12 IDH-wild-type and 21 IDH-mutant patients. Stratification according to 1p/19q co-deletion resulted in 20 non-co-deleted and 13 co-deleted patients. Median follow-up time from PET/CT exam was 30.5 months (range 3.5-74 months). Semiquantitative uptake parameters did correlate neither with IDH mutation nor with 1p/19q status. Uptake was similar in low-grade and high-grade tumors, respectively. In addition, F-DOPA uptake parameters, macroscopic tumor volume, or tumor grade did not stratify OS, while a correlation between SUVmax and PFS was shown in the subgroup of astrocytomas. On the other hand, IDH mutation status and presence of 1p/19q co-deletion had a significant impact on survival outcomes. The prognostic value of IDH mutation status was also confirmed in the subgroup of patients with astrocytic tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: F-DOPA uptake parameters do not correlate with tumor molecular and histological characteristics. The predictive value of PET-derived parameters on outcomes of survival is limited.