Radiolabelled Trastuzumab PET/CT imaging: a promising non-invasive tool for the in vivo assessment of HER2 status in breast cancer patients

Margherita Lorusso, Valentina Scolozzi, Silvia Taralli, Carmelo Caldarella, Corinna Altini, Giuseppe Rubini, Maria Lucia Calcagni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: In patients with breast cancer, the overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is associated with a worse prognosis and a better response to target therapy with monoclonal antibody, such as trastuzumab. HER2 status is usually revealed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on tumour tissue sample. Recently, PET/CT with radiolabelled trastuzumab has been described as a non-invasive tool for the identification of HER2-positive lesions in patients with BC, with a potential role in the selection of patients candidates to target therapy. The purpose of this mini-review of current literature is to summarize the state of the art of PET/CT imaging with these new radiopharmaceuticals. Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE database was screened to find articles regarding the role of radiolabelled trastuzumab PET/CT in detecting HER2-positive breast cancer lesions. Terms breast cancer AND (PET OR positron emission tomography) AND (trastuzumab OR radiolabelled monoclonal) were used. Results: Fourteen studies exploring the role of radiolabelled trastuzumab PET/CT in BC patients were included. Three different radiopharmaceuticals were used (89Zr-Trastuzumab, 64Cu-Trastuzumab and 68Ga-DOTA-F(abʹ)2-Trastuzumab). Clinical data were not available for all studies and quite heterogeneous within the same studies; methodological aspects were also quite different among studies, while the comparison with conventional imaging techniques was common. Conclusion: Additional studies are needed to validate the potential role of radiolabelled trastuzumab PET/CT, demonstrating its effectiveness in detection of HER2-positive lesions and in identification of BC patients who could benefit from specific and personalized therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Translational Imaging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • HER2
  • Monoclonal antibody
  • PET radiopharmaceutical
  • Radiolabelled trastuzumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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