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Volume 22, Number 2, 2017

Evaluation of response after SBRT for liver tumors

Raphael Tétreau, Carmen Llacer, Olivier Riou, Emmanuel Deshayes


Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) has developed over the last few years for the treatment of primary and metastatic hepatic tumors. The tumoral and adjacent peritumoral modifications caused by this radiosurgery limit the evaluation of response by anatomic imaging and dimensional criteria alone, such as with RECIST. This suggests that it is of interest to also take into account the residual enhancement and hyper metabolism of these hepatic targets. We have reviewed the English language literature regarding the response of hepatic lesions treated by SBRT, and found that only seven articles were specifically concerned with this problem.

The response of the hepatocellular carcinoma after SBRT has been studied specifically with multiphase enhanced CT-scan. Criteria set by the European Association of Study of the Liver better estimate response at each time point of follow up than RECIST does. Non-enhancement, reflecting tumor necrosis, is additionally an early indicator of response with extended response in time and a best non-enhancement percentage is observed at 12 months. The response after treatment by SBRT of cholangiocarcinoma has not yet generated a specific report.

Use of RECIST criteria is also inadequate in the evaluation of response after SBRT for hepatic metastases. Response of liver metastases to SBRT is better assessed with a combination of size and enhancement pattern. The occurrence of a lobulated enhancement during follow up is efficient to predict local progression in a specific, reproducible, and sensitive way. Patients with FDG-avid hepatic metastases are also better evaluated with PET-CT and functional criteria than routine imaging and metric evaluation alone.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2017; 22(2) : 170-175

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