OBJECTIVES: In this work we address the need for the computation of quantitative global tumoral state indicators from oncological whole-body PET/computed tomography scans. The combination of such indicators with other oncological information such as tumor markers or biopsy results would prove useful in oncological decision-making scenarios. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From an ordering of 100 breast cancer patients on the basis of oncological state through visual analysis by a consensus of nuclear medicine specialists, a set of numerical indicators computed from image analysis of the PET/computed tomography scan is presented, which attempts to summarize a patient's oncological state in a quantitative manner taking into consideration the total tumor volume, aggressiveness, and spread. RESULTS: Results obtained by comparative analysis of the proposed indicators with respect to the experts' evaluation show up to 87% Pearson's correlation coefficient when providing expert-guided PET metabolic tumor volume segmentation and 64% correlation when using completely automatic image analysis techniques. CONCLUSION: Global quantitative tumor information obtained by whole-body PET/CT image analysis can prove useful in clinical nuclear medicine settings and oncological decision-making scenarios. The completely automatic computation of such indicators would improve its impact as time efficiency and specialist independence would be achieved. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- image analysis