Technology in cancer research & treatment

Endobronchial/Endoesophageal Ultrasound (EBUS/EUS) Guided Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) and 18F-FDG PET/CT Scanning in Restaging of Locally Advanced Non-small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) Treated with Chemo-radiotherapy: A Mono-institutional Pilot Experience.

PMID 24945370


Chemo-radiotherapy is standard treatment of stage IIIA-N2 bulky or IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Surgical resection of residual disease in downstaged patients may improve overall survival. In this setting, restaging disease is still a challenge. 18F-FDG PET/CT represents the gold standard although accuracy results are disappointing. Endoscopic bronchial/ esophageal ultrasound (EBUS/EUS)-guided fine needle aspiration (FNA) may confirm lymph node (LN) involvement. We analyzed 16 patients with stage IIIA-N2 bulky or IIIB NSCLC treated with chemo-radiotherapy. At restaging, all patients performed EBUS/EUS with FNA and PET/CT scan and results were compared. Patients underwent PET/CT scan 43 days (range: 24-89) and EBUS/EUS 42 days (range: 14-71) after therapy. Overall, 7 EBUS and 9 EUS procedures were performed: no complications resulting from the procedure occurred. In 6 patients EBUS/EUS did not reveal any suspicious lesions; in 2 the exam showed enlarged mediastinal LN that were biopsied, but with no evidence of tumor cells; in 2 the sample was not considered diagnostic; 6 had persistent mediastinal LN involvement. PET/CT scan showed 4 cases of complete metabolic response, 9 partial metabolic response, 2 stable metabolic disease and one progressive metabolic disease. Notably, all 7 patients with .80% decrease in SUV with respect to basal value showed a pathological complete response or negative EBUS/EUS. EBUS/EUS could be used to complement PET/CT scanning to verify mediastinal LN clearance. Further prospective trials are warranted to confirm the utility of EBUS/EUS together with PET/CT in restaging locally advanced NSCLC.