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Revisiting the identification of tumor sub-volumes predictive of residual uptake after (chemo)radiotherapy: influence of segmentation methods on 18F-FDG PET/CT images.


ABSTRACT: Our aim was to evaluate the impact of the accuracy of image segmentation techniques on establishing an overlap between pre-treatment and post-treatment functional tumour volumes in 18FDG-PET/CT imaging. Simulated images and a clinical cohort were considered. Three different configurations (large, small or non-existent overlap) of a single simulated example was used to elucidate the behaviour of each approach. Fifty-four oesophageal and head and neck (H&N) cancer patients treated with radiochemotherapy with both pre- and post-treatment PET/CT scans were retrospectively analysed. Images were registered and volumes were determined using combinations of thresholds and the fuzzy locally adaptive Bayesian (FLAB) algorithm. Four overlap metrics were calculated. The simulations showed that thresholds lead to biased overlap estimation and that accurate metrics are obtained despite spatially inaccurate volumes. In the clinical dataset, only 17 patients exhibited residual uptake smaller than the pre-treatment volume. Overlaps obtained with FLAB were consistently moderate for esophageal and low for H&N cases across all metrics. Overlaps obtained using threshold combinations varied greatly depending on thresholds and metrics. In both cases overlaps were variable across patients. Our findings do not support optimisation of radiotherapy planning based on pre-treatment 18FDG-PET/CT image definition of high-uptake sub-volumes. Combinations of thresholds may have led to overestimation of overlaps in previous studies.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6797734 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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