To evaluate the role of dynamic contrast-enhanced CT (DCE-CT) as an independent non-invasive biomarker in predicting long term outcome in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) on antiangiogenic treatment.
Eighty two mRCC patients were prospectively enrolled from 09/2011 to 04/2015, out of which 71 were included in the final data analysis; the population was observed until 12/2020 to obtain complete overall survival data. DCE-CT imaging was performed at baseline and 10 to 12 weeks after start of treatment with targeted therapy. DCE-CT included a dynamic acquisition after injection of 50 ml of nonionic contrast agent at 6 ml/s using a 4D spiral mode (10 cm z-axis coverage, acquisition time 43 sec, 100 kVp (abdomen), 80 kVp (chest), 80-100 mAs) on a dual source scanner (Definition FLASH, Siemens). Blood flow (BF) was calculated for target tumor volumes using a deconvolution model. Progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analyzed using Kaplan-Meier statistics (SPSS version 24).
Patients were treated with either sunitinib, pazopanib, sorafenib, tivozanib, axitinib, or cabozantinib. A cut-off value of 50% blood flow reduction at follow-up allowed for identification of patients with favorable long-term outcome: Median OS in n = 42 patients with an average blood flow reduction of >50% (mean, 79%) was 34 (range, 14-54) months, while n = 21 patients with an average reduction of less than 50% (mean, 28%) showed a median OS of 12 (range, 6-18) months, and n = 8 patients with an increase in blood flow survived for a median of 7 (range, 3-11) months.
Blood flow in metastases measured with DCE-CT at first follow-up is a strong predictor of overall survival in mRCC patients on antiangiogenic treatment.

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