Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1026–1034 | Cite as

A SUVmax-based propensity matched analysis of stereotactic body radiotherapy versus surgery in stage I non-small cell lung cancer: unveiling the role of 18F-FDG PET/CT in clinical decision-making

  • L. Ye
  • F. Xu
  • S. Shi
  • Z. Zeng
  • X. Jin
  • Y. Huang
  • C. Lu
  • J. Gu
  • D. GeEmail author
  • J. HeEmail author
Research Article



The value of maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) was overlooked in current studies comparing stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) versus surgery for stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Herein, we aimed to compare the 3-year outcomes based on patients for whom SUVmax were available, and to explore the role of SUVmax in clinical decision-making.


From January 2010 to June 2016, data of eligible patients were collected. Patient variables and clinical outcomes were compared in both unmatched and matched groups using propensity score matching (PSM). Multivariate analysis was performed for predictors of poor outcome. The relationship between treatment approach and survival outcome was also evaluated in subgroup patients stratified by SUVmax level.


A total of 425 patients treated with either surgery (325) or SBRT (100) were included. Patients receiving SBRT were significantly older, had a higher level of SUVmax and were more likely to have tumor of centrally located. Multivariate analysis showed that SUVmax and tumor size were significant predictors for 3-year OS, LRC, and PFS, while better PFS was also related to peripheral tumor and surgery. The result of PSM analysis also showed that compared to SBRT, surgery could only achieve better PFS. Subgroup analysis indicated that surgery had added advantage of 3-year LRC and PFS for patients in high SUVmax group (SUVmax > 8), but not in low SUVmax group.


The study found a superior PFS after surgery while OS and LRC did not differ between SBRT and surgery. Surgery should be recommended for tumor of high SUVmax.


Non-small cell lung cancer Stereotactic body radiotherapy Surgery Comparative effectiveness research PET–CT 



All authors have contributed significantly, and that all authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript. This work was supported by the Medical Guidance Program of the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (No. 14411970100).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures conducted in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the ethical committee of Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, and with the principle of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Written consent was obtained from study participants.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation Oncology, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic Surgery, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology, Zhongshan HospitalFudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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