Contrast enhanced dynamic MRI of cervical carcinoma during radiotherapy: Early prediction of tumour regression rate
Gong QY., Brunt JNH., Romaniuk CS., Oakley JP., Tan LT., Roberts N., Whitehouse GH., Jones B.
This prospective study investigated the relationship between changes in the MRI dynamic enhancement of cervical carcinoma early during radiotherapy, and tumour regression rate throughout radiotherapy. A total of 36 MRI examinations was performed in seven patients with cervical carcinoma, including a T2weighted sequence weekly during radiotherapy and also a multislice dynamic Gd-DTPA enhanced sequence before and after the first 2 weeks of radiotherapy. Tumour enhancement was determined on dynamic images using a region of interest and signal-to-noise ratio method. Serial tumour volumes over time on T2weighted images were estimated using the Cavalieri method of modern design-based stereology to obtain tumour regression rate. It was found that peak and mean enhancement prior to radiotherapy ranged from 3.0 to 13.3, and from 1.9 to 12.2, respectively. After 2 weeks of radiotherapy, peak and mean enhancement ranged from 7.5 to 13.0, and from 6.3 to 10.6, respectively. The change in peak and mean tumour enhancement between dynamic scans ranged, respectively, from -2.0 to 8.4 and from -4.5 to 8.5. Tumour volume decreased exponentially with time (p < 0.01). Tumour regression rates ranged from 2.0% to 15.2% per day, and correlated positively with changes of both peak and mean tumour enhancement (p < 0.01). It is concluded that MRI dynamic enhancement during the first 2 weeks of radiotherapy may provide early prediction of tumour regression rate, and therefore be of value in designing treatment schedules for cervical carcinoma.