Immunohistochemical biomarkers and FDG uptake on PET/CT in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

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BACKGROUND: There is an exciting complementarity between the spatial resolution provided by molecular imaging of a single, often unspecific, biomarker on one hand and the more detailed biological profile achievable from a diagnostic biopsy using a panel of immunohistochemical (IHC) markers on the other. A number of previous studies have shown a relationship between glucose transport protein expression and 18F-Fludeoxyglucose (FDG) PET uptake. Here, FDG uptake is analyzed in relation to expression of a selected panel of IHC cancer biomarkers in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: IHC staining for Bcl-2, β-tubulin-1 and 2, p53, EGFR, Ki-67, glutathione-S-transferase-π and p16 was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin embedded diagnostic biopsies from 102 HNSCC cases treated at Rigshospitalet during 2005-2009. The proportion of positive cells was used for analyses, except p16, which was scored according to EORTC guidelines. In all cases, maximal FDG standardized uptake value (SUV) metrics were extracted for the primary tumor, TSUVmax. Univariate linear regression and multiple linear regression of TSUVmax versus IHC markers were performed.

RESULTS: In univariate analyses, TSUVmax showed negative associations with Bcl-2 (p = 0.002) and p16 (p = 0.005) indices and positive association with β-tubulin-1 index (p = 0.003). On multivariate analysis, TSUVmax remained associated with β-tubulin-1 (p = 0.009), Bcl-2 (p = 0.03) and p16 (p = 0.03). All correlations had r-squared < 0.3.

CONCLUSION: Statistically significant correlations were observed between the expression of IHC biomarkers and maximum FDG uptake in the primary tumor.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1408-15
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Biomarkers, Tumor, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Fluorodeoxyglucose F18, Glutathione Transferase, Head and Neck Neoplasms, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Ki-67 Antigen, Multimodal Imaging, Multivariate Analysis, Neoplasm Proteins, Positron-Emission Tomography, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2, Radiopharmaceuticals, Receptor, Epidermal Growth Factor, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Tubulin, Tumor Suppressor Protein p53

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