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BACKGROUND: Positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET-CT) is increasingly being used in the staging of oesophageal cancer. Some recent reports suggest it may be used to predict survival. None of these studies, however, reported on the prognostic value of PET-CT performed before neoadjuvant chemotherapy and surgery. The aim of this study was to determine whether pretreatment PET-CT could predict survival. METHODS: Consecutive patients with oesophageal adenocarcinoma who underwent PET-CT before neoadjuvant chemotherapy and resection were included. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUV(max)), fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-avid tumour length and the presence of FDG-avid local lymph nodes were determined for all patients. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed and multivariable analysis used to identify independent prognostic factors. RESULTS: A total of 121 patients were included (mean age 63 years, 97 men) of whom 103 underwent surgical resection. On an intention-to-treat basis, overall survival was significantly worse in patients with FDG-avid local lymph nodes (P < 0·001). SUV(max) and FDG-avid tumour length did not predict survival (P = 0·276 and P = 0·713 respectively). The presence of FDG-avid local lymph nodes was an independent predictor of poor overall survival (hazard ratio (HR) 4·75, 95 per cent confidence interval 2·14 to 10·54; P < 0·001) and disease-free survival (HR 2·97, 1·40 to 6·30; P = 0·004). CONCLUSION: The presence of FDG-avid lymph nodes, but not SUV(max) or FDG-avid tumour length, was an independent adverse prognostic factor.


Journal article


Br J Surg

Publication Date





239 - 245


Adenocarcinoma, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Disease-Free Survival, Esophageal Neoplasms, Female, Fluorodeoxyglucose F18, Humans, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Lymphatic Metastasis, Male, Middle Aged, Multimodal Imaging, Neoadjuvant Therapy, Positron-Emission Tomography, Radiopharmaceuticals, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Treatment Outcome