Article ID: 2016.01205
The current study sought to evaluate the predictive and prognostic performance of the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) prior to treatment in 43 patients with colon cancer and unresectable liver metastases. Patients with colon cancer who underwent 18F-FDG-PET/computed tomography (CT) scans for staging before the start of first-line 5-fluorouracil-based chemotherapy were retrospectively analyzed. Expression of Beclin-1 in cancer cells was evaluated in primary tumors using immunohistochemical staining. The pretreatment SUVmax for liver metastases was not able to predict progression-free survival but was significantly associated with poorer overall survival, with a hazard ratio of 2.05 (95 % CI, 1.016-4.155). Moreover, a negative correlation was noted between SUVmax and expression of a marker of autophagy – Beclin-1 (rho = -0.42, p = 0.006). This suggests that the pretreatment SUVmax in 18F-FDG PET/CT is a useful tool to help predict survival outcome in patients with colon cancer and unresectable liver metastases and may significantly distinguish between patients with low and high levels of Beclin-1 expression (AUC = 0.809, 95% CI: 0.670-0.948, p = 0.001).