Accuracy and reproducibility of 3D-CT measurements for early response assessment of chemoradiotherapy in patients with oesophageal cancer
Background: Chemoradiotherapy is increasingly applied in patients with oesophageal cancer. The aim of the present study was to determine whether 3D-CT volumetry is able to differentiate between responding and non-responding oesophageal tumours early in the course of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy. Patients and methods: Serial CT before and after two weeks of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy was performed in the multimodality treatment arm of a randomised trial including patients with oesophageal carcinoma. CT response was measured with the change in tumour volume between baseline and after 14 days of neoadjuvant therapy. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate the ability of 3D-CT as an early imaging marker of response. Results: CT response analysis was performed in 39 patients, of whom 26 patients were histopathological responders. Median tumour volume increased between baseline and after 14 days of chemoradiotherapy in histopathological responders as well as in non-responders, though changes were not statistically significant. The area under the ROC curve was 0.71. Conclusion: Tumour volume changes after 14 days of neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy as measured by 3D-CT were not associated with histopathological tumour response. CT volumetry should not be used for early response assessment in patients with potentially curable oesophageal cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.