Objectives: To investigate early changes in tumour perfusion parameters by dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (D-CEUS) and to identify any correlation with survival and tumour response in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) treated with bevacizumab (B). Methods: Thirty-seven patients randomized to either chemotherapy (C) plus B or C alone were considered for this study. D-CEUS was performed at baseline and after the first treatment cycle (day 15). Four D-CEUS perfusion parameters were considered: derived peak intensity (DPI), area under the curve (AUC), slope of wash-in (A) and time to peak intensity (TPI). Results: In patients treated with C plus B, a ≥22.5 % reduction in DPI, ≥20 % increase in TPI and ≥10 % reduction in AUC were correlated with higher progression-free survival in the C+B arm (p = 0.048, 0.024 and 0.010, respectively) but not in the C arm. None of the evaluated parameter modifications had a correlation with tumour response or overall survival. Conclusions: D-CEUS could be useful for detecting and quantifying dynamic changes in tumour vascularity as early as 15 days after the start of B-based therapy. Although these changes may be predictive of progression-free survival, no correlation with response or overall survival was found. Key Points: • D-CEUS showed early changes in liver metastasis perfusion in colorectal cancer. • A decrease in tumour perfusion was associated with longer progression-free survival. • The decrease in perfusion was not correlated with higher overall survival.
- Dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasonography
- Early prediction
- Metastatic colorectal cancer
- Tumour angiogenesis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging