Assessment of pulmonary 18 F-FDG-PET uptake and cytokine profiles in non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with radiotherapy and erlotinib

Azadeh Abravan, Hanne Astrid Eide, Ingerid Skjei Knudtsen, Ayca Muftuler Løndalen, Åslaug Helland, Eirik Malinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate effects of radiotherapy (RT) and erlotinib on pulmonary glucose uptake using 2-deoxy-2-(18F)fluoro-D-glucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) during and after treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and to identify associations between serum cytokine levels and lung glucose uptake.
Material and methods
Twenty-seven patients with advanced NSCLC, receiving RT alone or concomitant RT and erlotinib therapy, were examined by 18F-FDG PET before, during, and after treatment. A total of 57 18F-FDG PET scans were analyzed. Pulmonary 18F-FDG uptake and radiotherapy dose mapping were used to acquire dose-response curves for each patient, where subsequent linear regression gave a glucose uptake level in the un-irradiated parts of the lungs (SUV0) and a response slope (ΔSUV). Serum cytokine levels at corresponding time points were assessed using a multiplex bioassay. Correlations between the most robust cytokines and lung 18F-FDG dose response parameters were further investigated.
From the dose response analysis, SUV0 at post-therapy was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than at mid- and pre-therapy (45% and 58%, respectively) for the group receiving RT + erlotinib. Also, SUV0 at post-therapy was higher for patients receiving RT + erlotinib compared to RT alone (42%; P < 0.001). No differences in ΔSUV were seen with treatments or time. SUV0 was positively associated (r = 0.47, P = 0.01) with serum levels of the chemokine C–C motif ligand 21 (CCL21) for patients receiving RT + erlotinib.
Concomitant RT and erlotinib causes an elevation in pulmonary 18F-FDG uptake post treatment compared to RT alone. Pulmonary glucose uptake is associated with an upregulation of a chemokine (CCL21) involved in inflammatory reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and translational radiation oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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