Early assessment of response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is crucial in determining the most suitable treatment strategy in locally advanced oesophageal cancer (LAEC).
We evaluated the impact of early metabolic response during CRT on overall survival (OS) and histological response.
Patients with biopsy-proven oesophageal carcinoma underwent FDG PET/CT with evaluation of the standardized uptake value (SUV) before any treatment and during CRT after 20 Gy.
116 patients (Male: 66.4%, Median age: 63; squamous cell carcinomas (SCC): 70%) met inclusion criteria. Median OS was 21.7 months. There was a significant positive correlation between interim metabolic response and OS. In multivariate analysis, only metabolic response using the 50% cut-off value remained significantly associated with OS (IC95% = 0.28-0.73; p = 0.001). In this statistical analysis, surgery (p = 0.007) and T stage (p = 0.023) were also correlated with OS. There was a significant correlation between early metabolic response and local recurrence (Chi-squared test p = 0.0001).
Early metabolic response using FDG PET/CT is associated with better OS, disease-free survival, local control and pathological response in patients treated by CRT for LAEC.