Response assessment after immunotherapy remains a major challenge in glioblastoma due to an expected increased incidence of pseudoprogression. Gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the standard for monitoring therapeutic response, however, is markedly limited in characterizing pseudoprogression. Given that hypoxia is an important defining feature of glioblastoma regrowth, we hypothesized that [18F]-fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) positron emission tomography (PET) could provide an additional physiological measure for the diagnosis of immunotherapeutic failure. Six patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma who had previously received maximal safe resection followed by Stupp protocol CRT concurrent with pembrolizumab immunotherapy were recruited for FMISO PET and Gd-MRI at the time of presumed progression. The hypoxic fraction was defined as the ratio of hypoxic volume to T1-weighted gadolinium-enhancing volume. Four patients diagnosed with pseudoprogression demonstrated a mean hypoxic fraction of 9.8±10%. Two with recurrent tumor demonstrated a mean hypoxic fraction of 131±66%. Our results, supported by histopathology, suggest that the noninvasive assessment of hypoxic fraction by FMISO PET/MRI is clinically feasible and may serve as a biologically specific metric of therapeutic failure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)