AIM: To determine whether the pathological response to preoperative chemotherapy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) can be predicted using 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron-emission tomography (F-18 FDG-PET). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty-eight patients with PDAC who underwent only neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) before surgery were enrolled in the study. All patients had F-18 FDG-PET examinations before NAC. The resected specimen was pathologically evaluated according to the Classification of Pancreatic Carcinoma (7th edn). Patients were categorised into a non-response group and a response group based on the pathological findings. The non-response group (Grades 1a and 1b) showed ≤50% necrosis in the specimen, while the specimens of the response group (Grades 2–3) showed >50% necrosis. The maximum standardised uptake values (SUVmax) of the tumours on F-18 FDG-PET were measured. The mean values of SUVmax were compared between the two groups. The diagnostic performance of SUVmax in distinguishing the two groups was also evaluated using receiver operating characteristic analysis. RESULTS: The mean SUVmax of the response group was higher than that of the non-response group (9.00 ± 1.78 versus 4.26 ± 2.35; p<0.001). The optimal cut-off value of SUVmax was 9.28 for distinguishing the two groups. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for the prediction in the response group were 80%, 95.7%, and 92.9%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: SUVmax on F-18 FDG-PET may be useful as a biomarker to predict the pathological response to NAC in patients with PDAC.
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