Fifteen patients with locally advanced breast cancers were studied using the radiopharmaceutical 2-deoxy-2-Z18F]-fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) with positron emission tomography (PET). Five patients were sequentially imaged before and after two pulses of chemotherapy. In 14 of 15 tumours increased uptake of FDG was observed which correlated with the clinical site of the tumour. The PET images were compared with the mammographic and ultrasonomammographic appearances of the tumours in selected patients. In two patients with normal mammograms PET imaging detected the tumour and in a further four patients, with suspicious but not conclusively malignant mammographic changes, a well-defined area of increased FDG uptake was demonstrated by PET. In all five sequentially imaged tumours, following chemotherapy, there was a decrease of the FDG tumour: normal breast uptake ratio. In four patients who completed a full chemotherapeutic course this change preceded a pathological response of their tumours. These findings suggest that this technique may be of benefit in imaging carcinomas in the breasts of pre-menopausal women which may appear dense on mammography and moreover, that sequential imaging may have a role in the prediction, at an early stage, of the response of locally advanced carcinomas to chemotherapy.
- breast neoplasm