Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    Intense focal pituitary FDG uptake due to intravascular large B-cell lymphoma in pyrexia of unknown origin
    Pattison, DA ; Hofman, MS ; Bazargan, A ; Colman, P ; Hicks, RJ (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-11-01)
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    Going nuclear: it is time to embed the nuclear medicine physician in the prostate cancer multidisciplinary team
    Murphy, DG ; Hofman, MS ; Azad, A ; Violet, J ; Hicks, RJ ; Lawrentschuk, N (WILEY, 2019-07-16)
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    Voxel-wise correlation of positron emission tomography/computed tomography with multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and histology of the prostate using a sophisticated registration framework
    Reynolds, HM ; Williams, S ; Jackson, P ; Mitchell, C ; Hofman, MS ; Hicks, RJ ; Murphy, DG ; Haworth, A (WILEY, 2019-06-01)
    OBJECTIVES: To develop a registration framework for correlating positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images with multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) and histology of the prostate, thereby enabling voxel-wise analysis of imaging parameters. PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this prospective proof-of-concept study, nine patients scheduled for radical prostatectomy underwent mpMRI and PET/CT imaging before surgery. One had PET imaging using 18 F-fluoromethylcholine, five using 68 Ga-labelled prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-HBED-CC (PMSA-11), and three using a trial 68 Ga-labelled THP-PSMA tracer. PET/CT data were co-registered with mpMRI via the CT scan and an in vivo three-dimensional T2-weighted (T2w) MRI, and then co-registered with ground truth histology data using ex vivo MRI of the prostate specimen. Maximum and mean standardised uptake values (SUVmax and SUVmean ) were extracted from PET data using tumour annotations from histology, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests were used to compare between tumour- and benign-voxel values. Correlation analysis was performed between mpMRI and PET SUV tumour voxel values using Pearson's correlation coefficient and R2 statistics. RESULTS: PET/CT data from all nine patients were successfully registered with mpMRI and histology data. SUVmax and SUVmean ranged from 2.21 to 12.11 and 1.08 to 4.21, respectively. All patients showed the PET SUV values in benign and tumour voxels were from statistically different distributions. Correlation analysis showed no consistent trend between the T2w or apparent diffusion coefficient values and PET SUV. However, parameters from dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI including the maximum enhancement, volume transfer constant (Ktrans ), and the initial area under the contrast agent concentration curve for the first 60 s after injection (iAUGC60), showed consistent positive correlations with PET SUV. Furthermore, R2* values from blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) MRI showed consistent negative correlations with PET SUV-voxel values. CONCLUSION: We have developed a novel framework for registering and correlating PET/CT data at a voxel-level with mpMRI and histology. Despite registration uncertainties, perfusion and oxygenation parameters from DCE MRI and BOLD imaging showed correlations with PET SUV. Further analysis will be performed on a larger patient cohort to quantify these proof-of-concept findings. Improved understanding of the correlation between mpMRI and PET will provide supportive information for focal therapy planning of the prostate.
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    A pilot study of cardiopulmonary exercise testing and cardiac stress positron emission tomography before major non-cardiac surgery
    Ferguson, MT ; Hofman, MS ; Ismail, H ; Melville, A ; Yap, KSK ; Hicks, RJ ; Wright, S ; Riedel, B (WILEY, 2018-12-01)
    Cardiac events are a common cause of peri-operative morbidity. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing can objectively assess risk, but it does not quantify myocardial ischaemia. With appropriate dietary preparation to suppress basal myocardial glucose uptake, positron emission tomography with 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose can identify post-ischaemic myocardium, providing an attractive complement to exercise testing. We aimed to investigate the feasibility of this diagnostic algorithm. Patients referred for cardiopulmonary exercise testing before major cancer surgery were prospectively recruited. Exercise testing and positron emission tomography imaging were performed after a high fat-low carbohydrate meal. Protocol feasibility (primary end-point) included compliance with pre-test diet instructions and the completion of tests. Stress myocardial perfusion imaging was performed if either exercise testing or positron emission tomography was equivocal or positive for ischaemia. We recorded cardiac complications for 30 postoperative days. We enrolled 26 participants, 20 of whom completed protocol. Twenty-one participants proceeded to surgery: myocardial injury or infarction was diagnosed in three participants, two of whom had positive or equivocal positron emission tomography but negative myocardial perfusion imaging. We have shown that pre-operative cardiac positron emission tomography after cardiopulmonary exercise testing is feasible; protocol deviations were minor and did not affect image quality. Our findings warrant further investigation to compare the diagnostic utility of cardiac positron emission tomography imaging with standard pre-operative stress tests.
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    A prospective randomized multicentre study of the impact of gallium-68 prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) PET/CT imaging for staging high-risk prostate cancer prior to curative-intent surgery or radiotherapy (proPSMA study): clinical trial protocol
    Hofman, MS ; Murphy, DG ; Williams, SG ; Nzenza, T ; Herschtal, A ; De Abreu Lourenco, R ; Bailey, DL ; Budd, R ; Hicks, RJ ; Francis, RJ ; Lawrentschuk, N (WILEY, 2018-11-01)
    BACKGROUND: Accurate staging of patients with prostate cancer (PCa) is important for therapeutic decision-making. Relapse after surgery or radiotherapy of curative intent is not uncommon and, in part, represents a failure of staging with current diagnostic imaging techniques to detect disease spread. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron-emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is a new whole-body scanning technique that enables visualization of PCa with high contrast. The hypotheses of this study are that: (i) PSMA-PET/CT has improved diagnostic performance compared with conventional imaging; (ii) PSMA-PET/CT should be used as a first-line diagnostic test for staging; (iii) the improved diagnostic performance of PSMA-PET/CT will result in significant management impact; and (iv) there are economic benefits if PSMA-PET/CT is incorporated into the management algorithm. OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: The proPSMA trial is a prospective, multicentre study in which patients with untreated high-risk PCa will be randomized to gallium-68-PSMA-11 PET/CT or conventional imaging, consisting of CT of the abdomen/pelvis and bone scintigraphy with single-photon emission CT/CT. Patients eligible for inclusion are those with newly diagnosed PCa with select high-risk features, defined as International Society of Urological Pathology grade group ≥3 (primary Gleason grade 4, or any Gleason grade 5), prostate-specific antigen level ≥20 ng/mL or clinical stage ≥T3. Patients with negative, equivocal or oligometastatic disease on first line-imaging will cross over to receive the other imaging arm. The primary objective is to compare the accuracy of PSMA-PET/CT with that of conventional imaging for detecting nodal or distant metastatic disease. Histopathological, imaging and clinical follow-up at 6 months will define the primary endpoint according to a predefined scoring system. Secondary objectives include comparing management impact, the number of equivocal studies, the incremental value of second-line imaging in patients who cross over, the cost of each imaging strategy, radiation exposure, inter-observer agreement and safety of PSMA-PET/CT. Longer-term follow-up will also assess the prognostic value of a negative PSMA-PET/CT. OUTCOME AND SIGNIFICANCE: This trial will provide data to establish whether PSMA-PET/CT should replace conventional imaging in the primary staging of select high-risk localized PCa, or whether it should be used to provide incremental diagnostic information in selected cases.
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    Ga-68 PSMA-11 PET with CT urography protocol in the initial staging and biochemical relapse of prostate cancer
    Iravani, A ; Hofman, MS ; Mulcahy, T ; Williams, S ; Murphy, D ; Parameswaran, BK ; Hicks, RJ (BMC, 2017-12-21)
    BACKGROUND: 68Ga-labelled prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) ligand PET/CT is a promising modality in primary staging (PS) and biochemical relapse (BCR) of prostate cancer (PC). However, pelvic nodes or local recurrences can be difficult to differentiate from radioactive urine. CT urography (CT-U) is an established method, which allows assessment of urological malignancies. The study presents a novel protocol of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT-U in PS and BCR of PC. METHODS: A retrospective review of PSMA PET/CT-U preformed on 57 consecutive patients with prostate cancer. Fifty mL of IV contrast was administered 10 min (range 8-15) before the CT component of a combined PET/CT study, acquired approximately 60 min (range 40-85) after administration of 166 MBq (range 91-246) of 68Ga-PSMA-11. PET and PET/CT-U were reviewed by two nuclear medicine physicians and CT-U by a radiologist. First, PET images were reviewed independently followed by PET/CT-U images. Foci of activity which could not unequivocally be assessed as disease or urinary activity were recorded. PET/CT-U was considered of potential benefit in final interpretation when the equivocal focal activity in PET images corresponded to opacified ureter, bladder, prostate bed, seminal vesicles, or urethra. Student's T test and Pearson's correlation coefficient was used for assessment of variables including lymph node size and standardized uptake value. RESULTS: Overall 50 PSMA PET/CT-U studies were performed for BCR and 7 for PS. Median PSA with BCR and PS were 2.0 ± 11.4 ng/ml (0.06-57.3 ng/ml) and 18 ± 35.3 ng/ml (6.8-100 ng/ml), respectively. The median Gleason-score for both groups was 7 (range 6-10). In BCR group, PSMA PET was reported positive in 36 (72%) patients, CT-U in 11(22%) patients and PET/CT-U in 33 (66%) patients. In PS group, PSMA PET detected the primary site in all seven patients, of which one patient with metastatic nodal disease had negative CT finding. Of 40 equivocal foci (27/57 patients) on PET, 11 foci (10/57 patients, 17.5%) were localized to enhanced urine on PET/CT-U, hence considered of potential benefit in interpretation. Of those, 3 foci (3 patients) were solitary sites of activity on PSMA imaging including two local and one nodal site and 4 foci (3 patients) were in different nodal fields. CONCLUSIONS: PET/CT-U protocol is a practical approach and may assist in interpretation of 68Ga-PSMA-11 imaging by delineation of the contrast opacified genitourinary system and matching focal PSMA activity with urinary contrast.
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    Assessment of predictors of response and long-term survival of patients with neuroendocrine tumour treated with peptide receptor chemoradionuclide therapy (PRCRT)
    Kong, G ; Thompson, M ; Collins, M ; Herschtal, A ; Hofman, MS ; Johnston, V ; Eu, P ; Michael, M ; Hicks, RJ (SPRINGER, 2014-10-01)
    PURPOSE: To review the response and outcomes of (177)Lu-DOTA-octreotate chemoradionuclide therapy (LuTate PRCRT) in patients with neuroendocrine tumour (NET) expressing high levels of somatostatin receptors with uncontrolled symptoms or disease progression. METHODS: A total of 68 patients (39 men; 17 - 76 years of age) who had completed an induction course of at least three cycles of LuTate PRCRT between January 2006 and June 2010 were reviewed. Ten patients were treated for uncontrolled symptoms and 58 had disease progression despite conventional treatment. The majority had four induction LuTate cycles (median treatment duration 5 months and cumulative activity 31 GBq), and 63 patients had concomitant 5-FU radiosensitizing infusional chemotherapy. Factors predicting overall survival were assessed using the log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: Of those treated for uncontrolled symptoms, 70 % received benefit maintained for at least 6 months after treatment. Among patients with progressive disease 68 % showed stabilization or regression on CT, 67 % on molecular imaging and 56 % biochemically up to 12 months after treatment; 32 patients died. Overall survival rates at 2 and 5 year were 72.1 % and 52.1 %, respectively. Median overall survival was not estimable at a median follow-up of 60 months (range 5 - 86 months). Nonpancreatic primary sites, dominant liver metastases, lesion size <5 cm and the use of 5-FU chemotherapy were statistically significantly associated with objective response. A disseminated pattern and a high disease burden (whole-body retention index) were associated with an increased risk of death. Objective biochemical, molecular imaging and CT responses were all associated with longer overall survival. CONCLUSION: A high proportion of patients with progressive NET or uncontrolled symptoms received therapeutic benefit from LuTate with concomitant 5-FU chemotherapy. The achievement of objective biochemical, molecular or CT responses within 12 months was associated with improved overall survival. Patients with a primary pancreatic site and larger lesions (>5 cm) appeared to have lower objective response rates and may need a more aggressive treatment approach.
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    Quantitative Lu-177 SPECT (QSPECT) imaging using a commercially available SPECT/CT system
    Beauregard, J-M ; Hofman, MS ; Pereira, JM ; Eu, P ; Hicks, RJ (BMC, 2011-06-15)
    PURPOSE: The combination of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and computer tomography (CT) that incorporates iterative reconstruction algorithms with attenuation and scatter correction should facilitate accurate non-invasive quantitative imaging. Quantitative SPECT (QSPECT) may improve diagnostic ability and could be useful for many applications including dosimetry assessment. Using (177)Lu, we developed a QSPECT method using a commercially available SPECT/CT system. METHODS: Serial SPECT of (177)Lu sources (89-12,400 MBq) were acquired with multiple contiguous energy windows along with a co-registered CT, and were reconstructed using an iterative algorithm with attenuation and scatter correction. Camera sensitivity (based on reconstructed SPECT count rate) and dead-time (based on wide-energy spectrum count rate) were resolved by non-linear curve fit. Utilizing these parameters, a SPECT dataset can be converted to a QSPECT dataset allowing quantitation in Becquerels per cubic centimetre or standardized uptake value (SUV). Validation QSPECT/CT studies were performed on a (177)Lu cylindrical phantom (7 studies) and on 5 patients (6 studies) who were administered a therapeutic dose of [(177)Lu]octreotate. RESULTS: The QSPECT sensitivity was 1.08 x 10(-5) ± 0.02 x 10(-5) s(-1) Bq(-1). The paralyzing dead-time constant was 0.78 ± 0.03 µs. The measured total activity with QSPECT deviated from the calibrated activity by 5.6 ± 1.9% and 2.6 ± 1.8%, respectively, in phantom and patients. Dead-time count loss up to 11.7% was observed in patient studies. CONCLUSION: QSPECT has high accuracy both in our phantom model and in clinical practice following [(177)Lu]octreotate therapy. This has the potential to yield more accurate dosimetry estimates than planar imaging and facilitate therapeutic response assessment. Validating this method with other radionuclides could open the way for many other research and clinical applications.
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    EORTC PET response criteria are more influenced by reconstruction inconsistencies than PERCIST but both benefit from the EARL harmonization program
    Lasnon, C ; Quak, E ; Le Roux, P-Y ; Robin, P ; Hofman, MS ; Bourhis, D ; Callahan, J ; Binns, DS ; Desmonts, C ; Salaun, P-Y ; Hicks, RJ ; Aide, N (SPRINGEROPEN, 2017-05-30)
    BACKGROUND: This study evaluates the consistency of PET evaluation response criteria in solid tumours (PERCIST) and European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) classification across different reconstruction algorithms and whether aligning standardized uptake values (SUVs) to the European Association of Nuclear Medicine acquisition (EANM)/EARL standards provides more consistent response classification. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Baseline (PET1) and response assessment (PET2) scans in 61 patients with non-small cell lung cancer were acquired in protocols compliant with the EANM guidelines and were reconstructed with point-spread function (PSF) or PSF + time-of-flight (TOF) reconstruction for optimal tumour detection and with a standardized ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM) reconstruction known to fulfil EANM harmonizing standards. Patients were recruited in three centres. Following reconstruction, EQ.PET, a proprietary software solution was applied to the PSF ± TOF data (PSF ± TOF.EQ) to harmonize SUVs to the EANM standards. The impact of differing reconstructions on PERCIST and EORTC classification was evaluated using standardized uptake values corrected for lean body mass (SUL). RESULTS: Using OSEMPET1/OSEMPET2 (standard scenario), responders displayed a reduction of -57.5% ± 23.4 and -63.9% ± 22.4 for SULmax and SULpeak, respectively, while progressing tumours had an increase of +63.4% ± 26.5 and +60.7% ± 19.6 for SULmax and SULpeak respectively. The use of PSF ± TOF reconstruction impacted the classification of tumour response. For example, taking the OSEMPET1/PSF ± TOFPET2 scenario reduced the apparent reduction in SUL in responding tumours (-39.7% ± 31.3 and -55.5% ± 26.3 for SULmax and SULpeak, respectively) but increased the apparent increase in SUL in progressing tumours (+130.0% ± 50.7 and +91.1% ± 39.6 for SULmax and SULpeak, respectively). Consequently, variation in reconstruction methodology (PSF ± TOFPET1/OSEMPET2 or OSEM PET1/PSF ± TOFPET2) led, respectively, to 11/61 (18.0%) and 10/61 (16.4%) PERCIST classification discordances and to 17/61 (28.9%) and 19/61 (31.1%) EORTC classification discordances. An agreement was better for these scenarios with application of the propriety filter, with kappa values of 1.00 and 0.95 compared to 0.75 and 0.77 for PERCIST and kappa values of 0.93 and 0.95 compared to 0.61 and 0.55 for EORTC, respectively. CONCLUSION: PERCIST classification is less sensitive to reconstruction algorithm-dependent variability than EORTC classification but harmonizing SULs within the EARL program is equally effective with either.
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    Harmonizing FDG PET quantification while maintaining optimal lesion detection: prospective multicentre validation in 517 oncology patients
    Quak, E ; Le Roux, P-Y ; Hofman, MS ; Robin, P ; Bourhis, D ; Callahan, J ; Binns, D ; Desmonts, C ; Salaun, P-Y ; Hicks, RJ ; Aide, N (SPRINGER, 2015-12-01)
    PURPOSE: Point-spread function (PSF) or PSF + time-of-flight (TOF) reconstruction may improve lesion detection in oncologic PET, but can alter quantitation resulting in variable standardized uptake values (SUVs) between different PET systems. This study aims to validate a proprietary software tool (EQ.PET) to harmonize SUVs across different PET systems independent of the reconstruction algorithm used. METHODS: NEMA NU2 phantom data were used to calculate the appropriate filter for each PSF or PSF+TOF reconstruction from three different PET systems, in order to obtain EANM compliant recovery coefficients. PET data from 517 oncology patients were reconstructed with a PSF or PSF+TOF reconstruction for optimal tumour detection and an ordered subset expectation maximization (OSEM3D) reconstruction known to fulfil EANM guidelines. Post-reconstruction, the proprietary filter was applied to the PSF or PSF+TOF data (PSFEQ or PSF+TOFEQ). SUVs for PSF or PSF+TOF and PSFEQ or PSF+TOFEQ were compared to SUVs for the OSEM3D reconstruction. The impact of potential confounders on the EQ.PET methodology including lesion and patient characteristics was studied, as was the adherence to imaging guidelines. RESULTS: For the 1380 tumour lesions studied, Bland-Altman analysis showed a mean ratio between PSF or PSF+TOF and OSEM3D of 1.46 (95%CI: 0.86-2.06) and 1.23 (95%CI: 0.95-1.51) for SUVmax and SUVpeak, respectively. Application of the proprietary filter improved these ratios to 1.02 (95%CI: 0.88-1.16) and 1.04 (95%CI: 0.92-1.17) for SUVmax and SUVpeak, respectively. The influence of the different confounding factors studied (lesion size, location, radial offset and patient's BMI) was less than 5%. Adherence to the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) guidelines for tumour imaging was good. CONCLUSION: These data indicate that it is not necessary to sacrifice the superior lesion detection and image quality achieved by newer reconstruction techniques in the quest for harmonizing quantitative comparability between PET systems.