Value of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in women with breast cancer

M. Landheer, M. Steffens, J. Klinkenbijl, A. Westenberg and W. Oyen

Department of Surgery, Rijnstate Hospital, TA Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Nov, 2005



The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the role of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) in the staging of high-risk women with primary or recurrent breast cancer.FDG-PET was performed in 42 women with a primary breast cancer and unfavourable characteristics, or who had a suspected relapse. FDG-PET and conventional staging methods were compared. In case of abnormality on FDG-PET, confirmation was always attempted.Increased uptake was found in five of 17 women with a primary cancer. In the 25 women with a suspected relapse, FDG-PET showed increased uptake in 43 areas, 22 correctly confirming the area of suspected relapse and 21 indicating other sites of metastases. Compared with conventional imaging, FDG-PET revealed additional (confirmed) lesions in two women with primary cancers and three with relapse. Patient management was changed for five women.FDG-PET is a sensitive diagnostic method for the detection of distant metastatic disease. Its exact role in women with breast cancer remains to be defined.