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A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine 1998 March;42(1):1-7

Copyright © 2000 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Overview of the current status of PET in breast cancer imaging

Wahl R. L.

From the Division of Nuclear Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


FULL TEXT  


Present lim­i­ta­tions of avail­able pro­ce­dures for the diag­no­sis of ­breast can­cer ­have stim­u­lat­ed the devel­op­ment of new meth­ods ­based on Positron Emission Tomography (PET). PET can be ­used to eval­u­ate pri­mary ­lesions, region­al­ly met­a­stat­ic and system­ic metas­ta­ses of ­breast can­cer by use of trac­ers includ­ing 15O-­water 62Cu ­PTSM, [11C]L-methi­o­nine, [18F]flu­or­de­ox­y­glu­cose and [18F]flu­o­ro-17-estrad­i­ol, for the assess­ment of ­blood ­flow, metab­olism and recep­tor den­sity. FDG-PET is an excel­lent clin­i­cal meth­od to ­detect pri­mary ­breast ­lesions ­over 1 cm in diam­e­ter and to char­ac­ter­ize ­such ­lesions. Several ­reports ­have ­also indi­cat­ed var­i­ous ­degrees of sen­si­tiv­ity and spec­i­fic­ity of PET-FDG in detect­ing axil­lary ­lymph ­nodes. However, the pre­cise ­role of PET in stag­ing ­breast can­cer ­remains to be ­defined in care­ful pros­pec­tive stud­ies. Prospective eval­u­a­tion of PET dur­ing ­breast can­cer chem­o­hor­mo­no­ther­a­py dem­on­strat­ed a ­decline in FDG ­uptake in ­patients respon­sive to treat­ment, ­while no sig­nif­i­cant ­decline in FDG ­uptake is ­seen in the non-respond­ing ­patients exam­ined ­post initi­a­tion of treat­ment. PET may be use­ful ­when ­used in com­bi­na­tion ­with oth­er tech­niques of mor­pho­log­i­cal imag­ing, for the prop­er char­ac­ter­iza­tion of hyper­met­a­bo­lic tis­sue. Additional stud­ies includ­ing ­large pop­u­la­tions ­with ­known or sus­pect­ed ­breast can­cer ­will ­enhance the clin­i­cal ­role of ­this tech­nique for solv­ing dif­fi­cult diag­nos­tic ques­tions.

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