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PET with FDG May Predict Outcomes in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer


Positron emission tomography with 18F-FDG during chemotherapy can help predict a patient’s response to therapy.

Positron emission tomography with 18F-FDG during chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancer can help predict a patient’s response to therapy.

That’s according to an article published in the February issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine that examined the imaging method’s use to gauge active tumor metabolism during treatment.

Researchers in France recruited 20 patients with triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive tumor which makes up 15 percent of invasive breast cancers. Patients underwent PET imaging with 18F-FDG at the start of their chemotherapy regimen. This exam was repeated after their second cycle of chemotherapy to gauge how metabolically active the tumors were. This information was then used to gauge the patients’ predicted therapy response and prognosis.

Researchers found that at the point of surgery, chemotherapy was completely successful in six patients and the other 14 had remaining tumors. Patients with less than a 42 percent decrease in 18F-FDG uptake at cycle two of their treatment still had residual tumor, with a high risk of relapse within two years.

Investigation into using this approach is still early, however the researchers are hopeful. “If these findings are confirmed by other teams, interim 18F-FDG-PET/CT could become a major tool for early response assessment of this aggressive cancer, similar to the role that 18-FDG plays in assessing aggressive lymphomas,” said one of the authors, David Groheux, MD, a principal researcher in the department of nuclear medicine at Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris, France.

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