PET/CT and breast cancer

Barbara Zangheri, Cristina Messa, Maria Picchio, Luigi Gianolli, Claudio Landoni, Ferruccio Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the past decade, the application of positron emission tomography with [18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG-PET) has remarkably improved the management of cancer patients. Nevertheless, the clinical interpretation of FDG-PET scan can be difficult for two main reasons: (1) anatomical localisation of FDG uptake is not easy, (2) normal physiological accumulation of FDG can be misinterpreted as a pathologic area. It has been demonstrated that the visual correlation of PET with morphological procedures, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, can improve the accuracy of PET alone. However, the time interval between the two scans, the time employed by the operator and difficulties in co-registering imaging of the abdomen and pelvis make the co-registration of separately obtained images clinically difficult. A novel combined PET/CT system has been built that improves the capacity to correctly localise and interpret FDG uptake. To date only a few studies have been conducted on the potential role of PET/CT in the management of breast cancer patients, but the better performance of this technique compared with PET alone should also be relevant for breast cancer application. In this review, we evaluate the possible impact on breast cancer diagnosis of PET/CT compared with PET alone, with respect to disease re-staging, treatment monitoring, preoperative staging and primary diagnosis. In addition, the possible role of PET/CT for radiotherapy planning is evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004


  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Follow-up
  • PET/CT
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'PET/CT and breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this