A phase I study on stereotactic body radiotherapy of liver metastases based on functional treatment planning using positron emission tomography with 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-galactose

Background and purpose: The galactose analog 2-[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-d-galactose (FDGal) is used for quantification of regional hepatic metabolic capacity by functional positron emission tomography computerized tomography (PET/CT). In the present study, FDGal PET/CT was used for functional treatment planning (FTP) of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) of liver metastases with the aim of minimizing radiation dose to the best functioning liver tissue.

Material and methods: Fourteen patients referred for SBRT had FDGal PET/CT performed before and one month after the treatment. The planning CT and the FDGal PET/CT images were deformable co-registered.

Results: A reduction in the mean dose of approximately 2 Gy to the best functioning sub-volumes was obtained. One patient developed grade 2 acute morbidity and no patients experienced grade 3 or higher acute morbidities. The regional hepatic metabolic function post-treatment was linearly correlated to the regional radiation dose and for each 10-Gy increase in dose (γ10Gy), the metabolic function was reduced by 12%. A 50% reduction was seen at 22.9 Gy in 3 fractions (CI 95%: 16.7–30.4 Gy).

Conclusion: The clinical study demonstrates the feasibility for FTP in patients with liver metastases and it was possible to minimize the radiation dose to the best functioning liver tissue.