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THE QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE AND MOLECULAR IMAGING
Rivista di Medicina Nucleare e Imaging Molecolare
A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 2,413
REVIEW ARTICLES THE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM
Guest Editors: Freeman L. M., Bombardieri E.
The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine 2002 June;46(2)113-21
Early diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer with FDG-PET in patients with progressive elevation of serum tumor markers
Suárez M., Pérez-Castejón M. J., Jiménez A., Domper M., Ruiz G., Montz R., Carreras J. L.
PET Institute Carreras, Madrid, Spain
Background. The aim of this work is to assess the diagnostic value of positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), in the early detection of tumour recurrence in already treated breast cancer patients in apparent complete remission and with a progressive elevation of tumour markers CEA and/or CA 15.3 without any other clinical or instrumental signs of relapses.
Methods. The author studied 45 women (mean age 58±12, range 35-80 years) with histological diagnosis of breast cancer who underwent a tumour marker-guided whole body FDG-PET. All patients were in remission, without any other clinical or instrumental signs of relapses, except for the progressive elevation of CA 15.3 and/or CEA, tested during the follow-up. FDG-PET results were controlled by pathology when histological sampling was possible, by other conventional imaging modalities (US, X-rays, CT, MRI) and/or by clinical follow-up up to 12 months at least.
Results. FDG-PET findings were evaluated in 38 patients: 27 resulted positive. Among these 27 PET positive patients 24 were true positive and 3 false positive. Tumour marker guided FDG-PET was also able to discover 3 unknown neoplasms not visualized by other modalities. PET revealed 54 sites of intense focal FDG uptake. The anatomical distribution of these sites was 19 skeleton, 18 lymph node basins, 5 liver, 5 pelvic region, 1 lung, 1 pericardium, 1 pleura, 1 contralateral breast, 2 peritoneum and 1 thyroid bed. Forty-eight of these 54 sites of FDG accumulation were confirmed to be metastases. FDG-PET resulted negative in 11 patients and only in 2 of them the other diagnostic modalities were able to discover metastatic lesions; we had 9 true negative and 2 false positive results. On the basis of our investigation the performances of tumour marker guided FDG-PET per patient are as follows: sensitivity 92% (24/26), specificity 75% (9/12), positive predictive value 89% (24/27), negative predictive value 82% (9/11), accuracy 87% (33/38).
Conclusions. This study demonstrated the clinical utility of tumour marker-guided PET in the follow-up of breast cancer patients. This diagnostic approach allowed to modify the clinical management in those patients in whom a tumor relapse or unexpected primary neoplasm was discovered.