Role of 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in the early assessment of response to chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients.

A. Gennari, S. Donati, B. Salvadori, A. Giorgetti, P. A. Salvadori, O. Sorace, G. Puccini, P. Pisani, M. Poli, D. Dani, E. Landucci, G. Mariani, P. F. Conte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We investigated the role of 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) in the early evaluation of response to chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients. Breast cancer patients who received an epirubicin/paclitaxel--containing regimen as first-line treatment for metastatic disease were included in this study. A PET study was performed within 1 week before the start of treatment, at day 8 after the first course, and at the end of the planned program of chemotherapy. Tumor response was determined clinically and radiographically every 2 courses of treatment. Thirteen patients with metastatic breast cancer who were referred for treatment protocols with gemcitabine/epirubicin/paclitaxel or epirubicin/paclitaxel chemotherapy regimens were included in this study. All metastatic sites were easily visualized on the baseline FDG-PET images, obtained 50 to 60 minutes after tracer injection. Nine patients who completed the planned courses of chemotherapy and the FDG-PET studies were available for analysis. In the six patients who achieved a response to treatment, median glucose standard uptake value (SUV) (semiquantitative analysis) was 7.65 (range, 3.4-12.3) at baseline, 5.7 (range, 2.8-7.6) at day 8 after the first course, and 1.2 (range, 0.99-1.3) at the end of the 6 planned courses of chemotherapy. Three patients who obtained a stable disease as best response had no significant decrease in tumor glucose SUV compared to baseline levels. Qualitative visual analysis in the six responding patients showed a decrease in delineation of tumor mass from background activity soon after the first course, while the nonresponding patients had no significant modification from basal levels. Semiquantitative FDG-PET scanning of metastatic breast cancer sites showed a rapid and significant decrease in tumor glucose metabolism soon after the first course of treatment in patients who achieved a response to first-line chemotherapy. On the contrary, no significant decrease was observed in nonresponding patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Breast Cancer
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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