[18F]FDG and [18F]FLT PET for the evaluation of response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy in a model of triple negative breast cancer

Isabella Raccagni, Sara Belloli, Silvia Valtorta, Alessandro Stefano, Luca Presotto, Claudio Pascali, Anna Bogni, Monica Tortoreto, Nadia Zaffaroni, Maria Grazia Daidone, Giorgio Russo, Emilio Bombardieri, Rosa Maria Moresco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


RATIONALE: Pathological response to neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) represents a commonly used predictor of survival in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and the need to identify markers that predict response to NAC is constantly increasing. Aim of this study was to evaluate the potential usefulness of PET imaging with [18F]FDG and [18F]FLT for the discrimination of TNBC responders to Paclitaxel (PTX) therapy compared to the response assessed by an adapted Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) criteria based on tumor volume (Tumor Volume Response).

METHODS: Nu/nu mice bearing TNBC lesions of different size were evaluated with [18F]FDG and [18F]FLT PET before and after PTX treatment. SUVmax, Metabolic Tumor Volume (MTV) and Total Lesion Glycolysis (TLG) and Proliferation (TLP) were assessed using a graph-based random walk algorithm.

RESULTS: We found that in our TNBC model the variation of [18F]FDG and [18F]FLT SUVmax similarly defined tumor response to therapy and that SUVmax variation represented the most accurate parameter. Response evaluation using Tumor Volume Response (TVR) showed that the effectiveness of NAC with PTX was completely independent from lesions size at baseline.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provided interesting results in terms of sensitivity and specificity of PET in TNBC, revealing the similar performances of [18F]FDG and [18F]FLT in the identification of responders to Paclitaxel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0197754
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic/therapeutic use
  • Area Under Curve
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18/chemistry
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen/metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Paclitaxel/therapeutic use
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • ROC Curve
  • Radiopharmaceuticals/chemistry
  • Thymidine/analogs & derivatives
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging


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