Background and purpose: Previous pre-clinical research using [18F]FDG-PET has shown that whole-brain photon-based radiotherapy can affect brain glucose metabolism. This study, aimed to investigate how these findings translate into regional changes in brain [18F]FDG uptake in patients with head and neck cancer treated with intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Materials and methods: Twenty-three head and neck cancer patients treated with IMPT and available [18F]FDG scans before and at 3 months follow-up were retrospectively evaluated. Regional assessment of the [18F]FDG standardized uptake value (SUV) parameters and radiation dose in the left (L) and right (R) hippocampi, L and R occipital lobes, cerebellum, temporal lobe, L and R parietal lobes and frontal lobe were evaluated to understand the relationship between regional changes in SUV metrics and radiation dose. Results: Three months after IMPT, [18F]FDG brain uptake calculated using SUVmean and SUVmax, was significantly higher than that before IMPT. The absolute SUVmean after IMPT was significantly higher than before IMPT in seven regions of the brain (p ≤ 0.01), except for the R (p = 0.11) and L (p = 0.15) hippocampi. Absolute and relative changes were variably correlated with the regional maximum and mean doses received in most of the brain regions. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that 3 months after completion of IMPT for head and neck cancer, significant increases in the uptake of [18F]FDG (reflected by SUVmean and SUVmax) can be detected in several individual key brain regions, and when evaluated jointly, it shows a negative correlation with the mean dose. Future studies are needed to assess whether and how these results could be used for the early identification of patients at risk for adverse cognitive effects of radiation doses in non-tumor tissues.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftClinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
StatusPublished - sep.-2023

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