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Katharina Ingenerf, Maria; Karim, Homeira; Fink, Nicola; Ilhan, Harun; Ricke, Jens; Treitl, Karla-Maria and Schmid-Tannwald, Christine (2021): Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) in response assessment of transarterial radioembolization (TARE) for liver metastases of neuroendocrine tumors (NET): a feasibility study. In: Acta Radiologica, Vol. 63, No. 7, 2,84185E+15: pp. 877-888

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Background In patients with hepatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) locoregional therapies such as transarterial radioembolization (TARE) are increasingly applied. Response evaluation remains challenging and previous studies assessing response with diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) have been inconclusive. Purpose To perform a feasibility study to evaluate if response assessment with quantitative apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in patients with liver metastases of NETs after TARE will be possible. Material and Methods Retrospectively, 43 patients with 120 target lesions who obtained abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with DWI 39 +/- 28 days before and 74 +/- 46 days after TARE were included. Intralesional ADC (ADC(min), ADC(max), and ADC(mean)) were measured for a maximum number of three lesions per patient on baseline and post-interventional DWI. Tumor response was categorized according to RECIST 1.1 and mRECIST. Results TARE resulted in partial remission (PR) in 23% (63%), in stable disease (SD) in 73% (23%), in progressive disease (PD) in 5% (7%) and in complete response (CR) in 0% (1%) according to RECIST 1.1 (mRECIST, respectively). ADC values increased significantly (P<0.005) after TARE in the PR group whereas there was no significant change in the PD group. Post-therapeutic ADC values of SD lesions increased significantly when evaluated by RECIST 1.1 but not if evaluated by mRECIST. Percentual changes of ADC(mean) values were slightly higher for responders compared to non-responders (P<0.05). Conclusion ADC values seem to represent an additional marker for treatment response evaluation after TARE in patients with secondary hepatic NET. A conclusive study seems feasible though patient-based evaluation and overall survival and progression free survival as alternate primary endpoints should be considered.

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