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The value of FDG positron emission tomography in the management of patients with breast cancer

, : The value of FDG positron emission tomography in the management of patients with breast cancer. Breast Journal 11(3): 204-209

Increasing experience with positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in breast cancer patients is revealing a significant role for this imaging modality. This report summarizes the experience of 2-[F18]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) PET scanning in 165 breast cancer patients from the BC Cancer Agency, British Columbia, Canada, and reviews the literature on this topic. Using the database at PETSCAN Vancouver, we identified imaged patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer. We then conducted a retrospective review of these patients' BC Cancer Agency charts to extract demographic and follow-up information. Between November 2000 and March 2003 we identified 165 patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer who had undergone PET scanning, were registered at the BC Cancer Agency, and had follow-up information. The median patient age was 52 years. The sensitivity of PET in detecting axillary metastases was 28%, and the specificity was 86%. At diagnosis, 5% of patients were diagnosed with distant metastases. In patients undergoing PET scanning because of suspected recurrence, the sensitivity and specificity for detecting recurrence were 89% and 88%, respectively. Distant metastases were demonstrated in 30% of patients who were thought only to have local-regional recurrence. The results suggest that there are two clinical situations in which PET appears to be particularly valuable. The first is in the evaluation of patients who are suspected of having a tumor recurrence. The other is in identifying patients with multifocal or distant sites of malignancy who otherwise appear to have an isolated, potentially curable, local-regional recurrence.


PMID: 15871707

DOI: 10.1111/j.1075-122X.2005.21625.x

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