We aimed to prospectively investigate intravoxel incoherent motion parameters to predict the response to chemotherapy in locally advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
From July 2016 to March 2018, 30 advanced NSCLC patients were enrolled and underwent chest intravoxel incoherent motion–diffusion-weighted imaging at Siemens 3T magnetic resonance imaging before and at the end of the first cycle of chemotherapy. Regions of interest were drawn including the whole tumor volume to derive the apparent diffusion coefficient value, D, D*, and f, respectively. Time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curves were generated to evaluate the cutoff values of continuous variables. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess the independent predictors of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank test were generated.
Among the 30 patients, 28 cases (93.3%) died and 2 cases (6.7%) survived till the closeout date. Univariate Cox regression analyses revealed that the significant predictors of PFS and OS were the tumor size reduction rate, the change rates of D and apparent diffusion coefficient values, and the D value before therapy (PFS: P = 0.015, hazard ratio [HR] = 2.841; P < 0.001, HR = 5.840; P = 0.044, HR = 2.457; and P = 0.027, HR = 2.715; OS: P = 0.008, HR = 2.987; P < 0.001, HR = 4.357; P = 0.006, HR = 3.313; and P = 0.013, HR = 2.941, respectively). Multivariate Cox regression analysis suggested that △D% was identified as independent predictors of both PFS and OS (P = 0.003, HR = 9.200 and P = 0.016, HR = 4.617). In addition, the cutoff value of △D% was 21.06% calculated by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. In the Kaplan-Meier analysis, the PFS and OS were significantly greater in the group of patients with △D% larger than 21.06% (log-rank test, χ2 = 16.453, P < 0.001; χ2 = 13.952, P < 0.001).
Intravoxel incoherent motion–diffusion-weighted imaging was preferred for predicting the prognosis of advanced NSCLC patients treated with chemotherapy. A D increase more than 21.06% at 1 month was associated with a lower rate of disease progression and death.