Background and purpose: Previously, PET image biomarkers (PET-IBMs) – the 90th percentile standardized uptake value (P90-SUV) and the Mean SUV (Mean-SUV) of the contralateral parotid gland (cPG) – were identified as predictors for late-xerostomia following head and neck cancer (HNC) radiotherapy. The aim of the current study was to assess in an independent validation cohort whether these pre-treatment PET-IBM can improve late-xerostomia prediction compared to the prediction with baseline xerostomia and mean cPG dose alone. Materials and methods: The prediction endpoint was patient-rated moderate-to-severe xerostomia at 12 months after radiotherapy. The PET-IBMs were extracted from pre-treatment 18 F-FDG PET images. The performance of the model (base model) with baseline xerostomia and mean cPG dose alone and models with additionally P90-SUV or Mean-SUV were tested in the current independent validation cohort. Specifically, model discrimination (area under the curve: AUC) and calibration (calibration plot) were evaluated. Results: The current validation cohort consisted of 137 patients of which 40% developed moderate-to-severe xerostomia at 12 months. Both the PET-P90 model (AUC:PET-P90 = 0.71) and the PET-Mean model (AUC: PET-Mean = 0.70) performed well in the current validation cohort. Moreover, their performance were improved compared to the base model (AUC:base model= 0.68). The calibration plots showed a good fit of the prediction to the actual rates for all tested models. Conclusion: PET-IBMs showed an improved prediction of late-xerostomia when added to the base model in this validation cohort. This contributed to the published hypothesis that PET-IBMs include individualized information and can serve as a pre-treatment risk factor for late-xerostomia.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftRadiotherapy and Oncology
StatusPublished - mrt.-2023

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