Relapse patterns after radiochemotherapy of glioblastoma with FET PET-guided boost irradiation and simulation to optimize radiation target volume

Marc D. Piroth, Norbert Galldiks, Michael Pinkawa, Richard Holy, Gabriele Stoffels, Johannes Ermert, Felix M. Mottaghy, N. Jon Shah, Karl Josef Langen, Michael J. Eble

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Background: O-(2-18 F-fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine-(FET)-PET may be helpful to improve the definition of radiation target volumes in glioblastomas compared with MRI. We analyzed the relapse patterns in FET-PET after a FET- and MRI-based integrated-boost intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) of glioblastomas to perform an optimized target volume definition. Methods: A relapse pattern analysis was performed in 13 glioblastoma patients treated with radiochemotherapy within a prospective phase-II-study between 2008 and 2009. Radiotherapy was performed as an integrated-boost intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IB-IMRT). The prescribed dose was 72 Gy for the boost target volume, based on baseline FET-PET (FET-1) and 60 Gy for the MRI-based (MRI-1) standard target volume. The single doses were 2.4 and 2.0 Gy, respectively. Location and volume of recurrent tumors in FET-2 and MRI-2 were analyzed related to initial tumor, detected in baseline FET-1. Variable target volumes were created theoretically based on FET-1 to optimally cover recurrent tumor. Results: The tumor volume overlap in FET and MRI was poor both at baseline (median 12 %; range 0-32) and at time of recurrence (13 %; 0-100). Recurrent tumor volume in FET-2 was localized to 39 % (12-91) in the initial tumor volume (FET-1). Over the time a shrinking (mean 12 (5-26) ml) and shifting (mean 6 (1-10 mm) of the resection cavity was seen. A simulated target volume based on active tumor in FET-1 with an additional safety margin of 7 mm around the FET-1 volume covered recurrent FET tumor volume (FET-2) significantly better than a corresponding target volume based on contrast enhancement in MRI-1 with a same safety margin of 7 mm (100 % (54-100) versus 85 % (0-100); p < 0.01). A simulated planning target volume (PTV), based on FET-1 and additional 7 mm margin plus 5 mm margin for setup-uncertainties was significantly smaller than the conventional, MR-based PTV applied in this study (median 160 (112-297) ml versus 231 (117-386) ml, p < 0.001). Conclusions: In this small study recurrent tumor volume in FET-PET (FET-2) overlapped only to one third with the boost target volume, based on FET-1. The shrinking and shifting of the resection cavity may have an influence considering the limited overlap of initial and relapse tumor volume. A simulated target volume, based on FET-1 with 7 mm margin covered 100 % of relapse volume in median and led to a significantly reduced PTV, compared to MRI-based PTVs. This approach may achieve similar therapeutic efficacy but lower side effects offering a broader window to intensify concomitant systemic treatment focusing distant failures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
Number of pages9
JournalRadiation Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Glioblastoma
  • Radiochemotherapy
  • Relapse patterns
  • Target volume definition

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