Does FDG PET/CT have a role in determining adjuvant chemotherapy in surgical margin-negative stage IA non-small cell lung cancer patients?

  • Hye Lim Park
  • Ie Ryung YooEmail author
  • Sun Ha Boo
  • Sonya Youngju Park
  • Jae Kil Park
  • Sook Whan Sung
  • Seok Whan Moon
Original Article – Clinical Oncology



To evaluate the prognostic value of FDG PET/CT metabolic parameter compared to clinico–pathological risk factors in surgical margin-negative stage IA non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.


167 patients with consecutive FDG PET/CT scans from 2009 to 2015 performed for staging of NSCLC stage IA with plans for curative surgery were retrospectively reviewed. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of primary tumor and mean SUV of liver were acquired from PET/CT. Tumor-to-liver SUV ratio (TLR) was calculated. Charts were reviewed to obtain basic patient characteristics (age, sex, smoking history, LDH, histologic subtype) and high-risk factors for adjuvant chemotherapy (tumor size, poorly differentiation, vascular invasion, and sub-lobar resection). Patients were dichotomized into two groups using optimal cut-off from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis of TLR to predict recurrence. Statistical analysis was done using Cox regression analysis and Kaplan–Meier method. Factors with P < 0.2 in univariate analysis were included in multivariate analysis.


Recurrence rate was 12.6% (21/167). Median disease-free survival (DFS) was 47.2 months while 2-year and 5-year DFS rates were 93% and 86%, respectively. The optimal cut-off for TLR was 2.3. In univariate analysis, P value of sex, vascular invasion, and TLR were less than 0.2. In multivariable analysis, high TLR was the only factor that showed significant association with tumor recurrence (hazard ratio 3.795, P = 0.0048).


TLR was an independent prognostic factor for recurrence and TLR could be an important risk factor to be considered in decision-making for adjuvant chemotherapy, even for those with stage IA NSCLC.


Carcinoma Non-small cell lung Positron emission tomography–computed tomography Stage IA Prognosis 



We would like to thank So Young Jeon from the Department of Biostatistics at the Catholic University Graduate School for her statistical expertise.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval and informed consent

For this retrospective study, formal consent is not required. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hye Lim Park
    • 1
  • Ie Ryung Yoo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sun Ha Boo
    • 1
  • Sonya Youngju Park
    • 1
  • Jae Kil Park
    • 2
  • Sook Whan Sung
    • 2
  • Seok Whan Moon
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Nuclear Medicine, Department of Radiology, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, College of MedicineThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulRepublic of Korea

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