Evaluation of treatment response and resistance in metastatic renal cell cancer (mRCC) using integrated 18F–Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F–FDG) positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI); The REMAP study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Kelly-Morland Chrisian
  • Sarah M Rudman
  • Paul Nathan
  • Giovanni Montana
  • Gary J R Cook
  • Vicky Goh

Colleges, School and Institutes


Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are the first line standard of care for treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Accurate response assessment in the setting of antiangiogenic therapies remains suboptimal as standard size-related response criteria do not necessarily accurately reflect clinical benefit, as they may be less pronounced or occur later in therapy than devascularisation. The challenge for imaging is providing timely assessment of disease status allowing therapies to be tailored to ensure ongoing clinical benefit. We propose that combined assessment of morphological, physiological and metabolic imaging parameters using 18F–fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging (18F–FDG PET/MRI) will better reflect disease behaviour, improving assessment of response/non-response/relapse.

The REMAP study is a single-centre prospective observational study. Eligible patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, planned for systemic therapy, with at least 2 lesions will undergo an integrated 18F–FDG PET and MRI whole body imaging with diffusion weighted and contrast-enhanced multiphasic as well as standard anatomical MRI sequences at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks of systemic therapy allowing 18F–FDG standardised uptake value (SUV), apparent diffusion co-efficient (ADC) and normalised signal intensity (SI) parameters to be obtained. Standard of care contrast-enhanced computed tomography CT scans will be performed at equivalent time-points. CT response categorisation will be performed using RECIST 1.1 and alternative (modified)Choi and MASS criteria. The reference standard for disease status will be by consensus panel taking into account clinical, biochemical and conventional imaging parameters. Intra- and inter-tumoural heterogeneity in vascular, diffusion and metabolic response/non-response will be assessed by image texture analysis. Imaging will also inform the development of computational methods for automated disease status categorisation.

The REMAP study will demonstrate the ability of integrated 18F–FDG PET-MRI to provide a more personalised approach to therapy. We suggest that 18F–FDG PET/MRI will provide superior sensitivity and specificity in early response/non-response categorisation when compared to standard CT (using RECIST 1.1 and alternative (modified)Choi or MASS criteria) thus facilitating more timely and better informed treatment decisions.

Trial registration
The trial is approved by the Southeast London Research Ethics Committee reference 16/LO/1499 and registered on the NIHR clinical research network portfolio ISRCTN12114913.


Original languageEnglish
Article number392
JournalBMC Cancer
Issue number1
Early online date2 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2017