Nomogram predicting response after chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer using sequential PETCT imaging: A multicentric prospective study with external validation

Ruud G. P. M. van Stiphout*, Vincenzo Valentini, Jeroen Buijsen, Guido Lammering, Elisa Meldolesi, Johan van Soest, Lucia Leccisotti, Alessandro Giordano, Maria A. Gambacorta, Andre Dekker, Philippe Lambin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: To develop and externally validate a predictive model for pathologic complete response (pCR) for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) based on clinical features and early sequential F-18-FDG PETCT imaging. Materials and methods: Prospective data (i.a. THUNDER trial) were used to train (N = 112, MAASTRO Clinic) and validate (N = 78, Universita Cattolica del S. Cuore) the model for pCR (ypT0N0). All patients received long-course chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and surgery. Clinical parameters were age, gender, clinical tumour (cT) stage and clinical nodal (cN) stage. PET parameters were SUVmax, SUVmean, metabolic tumour volume (MW) and maximal tumour diameter, for which response indices between pre-treatment and intermediate scan were calculated. Using multivariate logistic regression, three probability groups for pCR were defined. Results: The pCR rates were 21.4% (training) and 23.1% (validation). The selected predictive features for pCR were cT-stage, cN-stage, response index of SUVmean and maximal tumour diameter during treatment. The models' performances (AUC) were 0.78 (training) and 0.70 (validation). The high probability group for pCR resulted in 100% correct predictions for training and 67% for validation. The model is available on the website Conclusions: The developed predictive model for pCR is accurate and externally validated. This model may assist in treatment decisions during CRT to select complete responders for a wait-and-see policy, good responders for extra RT boost and bad responders for additional chemotherapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-222
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


  • Tumour response
  • F-18-FDG PET imaging
  • Outcome prediction
  • Rectal cancer
  • Prospective study
  • External validation

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