PET clarifies difficult breast cancer cases

Share this article:

Positron emission tomography (PET) can help clinicians pinpoint a diagnosis in breast cancer patients with formerly inconclusive assessments and can predict prognosis in an aggressive form of the disease, two recent studies show.

The research projects, both published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, involved the use of PET and special molecular imaging techniques to provide answers in challenging cases of breast cancer. In one study (2012;53[2]:182-190), 33 women with a history of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer and a formerly inconclusive assessment underwent PET scanning that employed a molecular imaging technique known as 18F-FES, which offers an entirely noninvasive means of capturing estrogen receptor expression in estrogen-receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer.

In nearly all study participants (88%), 18F-FES improved diagnostic information, and prompted a change in treatment in 48%. The technique proved especially helpful in detecting bone metastases.

The second study (2012;53[2]:249-254) focused on 20 patients with an aggressive subtype of breast cancer, triple-negative. At the outset of chemotherapy and again after the second cycle of treatment, the study participants underwent 18F-FDG-PET/CT, a molecular imaging method used to gauge how metabolically active tumors are, which in term helps determine likely therapeutic response and posttreatment prognosis.

At surgery, six patients had a pathologic complete response to treatment, whereas 14 had residual tumor. The use of 18F-FDG PET/CT demonstrated that patients who exhibited less than a 42% reduction in metabolism after two cycles of chemotherapy had a 100% risk of residual tumor at surgery and a 44% risk of early relapse.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

April Contest: Win a Pebble Watch

Start the contest today

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Y-90 radioembolization: A new treatment for hepatic metastases from breast cancer

Yttrium-90 radioembolization is a minimally invasive treatment that may slow disease progression in breast cancer that has metastasized to the liver.

More sensitive testing may better define prognosis and treatment for leukemia

Nearly half of patients with the most common form of adult leukemia may have a distinct pattern of genetic abnormalities that could better define their prognosis and treatment.

Doxorubicin-ifosfamide combo improves progression-free survival in soft-tissue sarcoma

A new European study does not support administration of intensified doxorubicin and ifosfamide for palliation of advanced soft tissue sarcoma.