Evaluation of the response to therapy of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma by using 3-[123I]iodo-L-alpha-methyl tyrosine and single photon emission tomography.

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Abstract

Early detection of residual tumour tissue offers the possibility for rapid administration of adjuvant treatment. Single photon emission tomography (SPET) with 3-[123I]iodo-L-alpha-methyl tyrosine (IMT) offers the ability to detect recurrence. The aim of this study was to carry out a prospective evaluation of sequential IMT SPET before and after primary therapy and to determine the best timing for scanning in order to establish the response to treatment. Sixteen consecutive patients with histologically proven head and neck cancer (HNC), who underwent IMT SPET before therapy, within 1 week of therapy, and 1 and 3 months after completion of primary therapy were included. Images were classified, according to clinical evaluation, as indicating a high likelihood (HL), intermediate likelihood (IL) and low likelihood (LL) that residual tumoural tissue was present. The definitive clinicopathological diagnosis and follow-up was considered as the 'gold standard'. Based on the definitive clinicopathological outcome, 10 of 16 patients were diagnosed with evidence of local tumour and six without. Nine of 10 patients with evidence of local tumour presented with an HL IMT SPET image after 3 months, seven of whom were from within the first week. In this group, 1/10 patients was considered clinically HS the first week and eventually 4/10 patients became HL, of which there were three at 3 months. Of the six patients diagnosed without local evidence of tumour, with an average follow-up of 15 months, 6/6 were clinically LL in the first week. Three of six had a consistently LL IMT SPET from within the first week. The three other patients had an HL scan the first week, of which one became IL. It is concluded that IMT SPET assessed the response to primary therapy most accurately 3 months after completion of therapy. An IMT SPET image that indicates a high likelihood of residual tumoural tissue may allow earlier stratification of the patients for secondary treatment. If negative, an IMT SPET can exclude residual tumoural tissue from within the first week after completion of therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-641
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Volume24
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

Keywords

  • amino acids
  • SPECT

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