PURPOSE: To compare CT-, MR- and PET-CT based tumor length measurements in rectal cancer with pathology. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-six rectal cancer patients underwent both MR and PET-CT imaging followed by short-course radiotherapy (RT 5x5Gy) and surgery within 3days after RT. Tumor length was measured manually and independently by 2 observers on CT, MR and PET. PET-based tumor length measurements were also generated automatically using the signal-to-background-ratio (SBR) method. All measurements were correlated with the tumor length on the pathological specimen. RESULTS: CT-based measurements did not show a valuable correlation with pathology. MR-based measurements correlated only weakly, but still significantly (Pearson correlation=0.55resp. 0.57; p<0.001). Manual PET measurements reached a good correlation with pathology, but less strong (Pearson correlation 0.72 and 0.76 for the two different observers) than automatic PET-CT based measurements, which provided the best correlation with pathology (Pearson correlation of 0.91 (p<0.001)). Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated in general an overestimation of the tumor diameter using manual measurements, while the agreement of automatic contours and pathology was within acceptable ranges. A direct comparison of the different modalities revealed a significant better precision for PET-based auto-contours as compared to all other measurements. CONCLUSION: Automatically generated PET-CT based contours show the best correlation with the surgical specimen and thus provide a useful and powerful tool to accurately determine the largest tumor dimension in rectal cancer. This could be used as a quick and reliable tool for target delineation in radiotherapy. However, a 3D volume analysis is needed to confirm these results.
- Rectal cancer
- Automatic contours
- Pathology correlation
- TARGET VOLUME DELINEATION
Buijsen, J., van den Bogaard, J., Janssen, M. H., Bakers, F. C., Engelsman, S., Ollers, M., Beets-Tan, R. G. H., Nap, M., Beets, G. L., Lambin, P., & Lammering, G. (2011). FDG-PET provides the best correlation with the tumor specimen compared to MRI and CT in rectal cancer. Radiotherapy and Oncology, 98(2), 270-276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2010.11.018