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MR perfusion imaging is a relatively new technique that may aid in identifying recurrent tumor (RT) in those with radically treated high-grade gliomas (HGG). We aim to assess the relationship between dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced MR perfusion (DSC-MRP) and overall survival to establish a baseline for future research and to determine the utility of DSC-MRP as a clinical decision-making and prognostic tool.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study. Adults with pathologically confirmed HGG at the Juravinski Cancer Centre, Ontario between January 2011 and April 2014 with at least one post-treatment DSC-MRP were included. DSC-MRP was interpreted as positive or negative for tumor recurrence by experienced radiologists. The primary outcome was overall survival.
Sixty-one patients were enrolled. Median survival for patients with a positive DSC-MRP scan was 4.5 months compared with 10.2 months for those with a negative DSC-MRP scan (hazard ratio [unadjusted] = 2.51; 95% confidence interval = 1.10–5.67; p-value = 0.03). Multivariable modeling (adjusted) that included all pre-selected variables showed similar results.
Survival time in patients with HGG is generally low, and almost all patients will demonstrate RT. Our data suggest a positive DSC-MRP correlates with lower overall survival and may signify the presence of highly active RT. These results generate a hypothesis that there may be a prognostic role for the use of serial DSC-MRP for tumor surveillance. More importantly, this biomarker may aid in decision making for treatment plans and palliation.