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Archive - Sep 4, 2012

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Pretreatment PET/CT Scan of Lymph Nodes Predicts Recurrence in Type of Breast Cancer

Disease-free survival for invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) patients may be easier to predict with the help of F-18-fludeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans, according to research published online on June 29, 2012 in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine and scheduled for print publication in the September issue of the same journal. New data, obtained by researchers in Korea, show that high maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) of F-18-FDG in the lymph nodes prior to treatment could be an independent indicator of disease recurrence. “Many studies have revealed that breast cancer patients with axillary lymph node metastasis have a significantly poorer prognosis than those without nodal metastases,” noted Sang-Woo Lee, M.D., Ph.D., one of the authors of the current article. “However, the prognostic value of F-18-FDG uptake in metastatic axillary lymph nodes with PET/CT has not been investigated in IDC patients,” he added. In this study, researchers followed 65 female patients with IDC who had undergone pretreatment F-18-FDG PET/CT and who had pathologically confirmed axillary lymph node involvement without distant metastases. Factors such as age, TNM (tumor, lymph node, and metastases) stage, estrogen receptor status, progesterone receptor status, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 status, and SUVmax for the primary-tumor and axillary lymph nodes were analyzed. Patients underwent treatment and were followed for a range of 21-57 months (median of 36 months). Among the patients, 53 were disease-free and 12 had disease recurrence during the follow-up period. While both the primary-tumor and nodal SUVmax were higher in patients with recurrence, the nodal SUVmax was significantly higher.