Can perfusion CT assessment of primary colorectal adenocarcinoma blood flow at staging predict for subsequent metastatic disease? A pilot study
We aimed to determine whether perfusion CT measurements at colorectal cancer staging may predict for subsequent metastatic relapse. Fifty two prospective patients underwent perfusion CT at staging to estimate tumour blood flow, blood volume, mean transit time, and permeability surface area product. Patients considered metastasis free and suitable for surgery underwent curative resection subsequently. At final analysis, a median of 48.6 months post-surgery, patients were divided into those who remained disease free, and those with subsequent metastases. Vascular parameters for these two groups were compared using t-testing, and receiver operator curve analysis was performed to determine the sensitivity and specificity of these vascular parameters for predicting metastases. Thirty seven (71%) patients underwent curative surgery; data were available for 35: 26 (74%) remained disease free; 9 (26%) recurred (8 metastatic, 1 local). Tumour blood flow differed significantly between disease-free and metastatic patients (76.0 versus 45.7 ml/min/100 g tissue; p = 0.008). With blood flow <64 ml/min/100 g tissue, sensitivity and specificity (95% CI) for development of metastases were 100% (60–100%) and 73% (53–87%), respectively. Our preliminary findings suggest that primary tumour blood flow might potentially be a useful predictor warranting further study.