Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

PET Scans Can Accurately Detect A Breast Tumor's Response To Chemotherapy

Date:
September 28, 2007
Source:
European Cancer Conference
Summary:
Positron emission tomography that uses a radioactive sugar molecule is more useful than mammography and ultrasound in predicting a breast tumor's response to chemotherapy and, therefore, the patient's ultimate likelihood of survival.

Researchers in Australia have shown that positron emission tomography (PET) that uses a radioactive sugar molecule is more useful than mammography and ultrasound in predicting a breast tumour’s response to chemotherapy and, therefore, the patient’s ultimate likelihood of survival.

In research presented September 25 at the European Cancer Conference in Barcelona, Dr Vinod Ganju reported that when the scanning procedure was used to measure the accumulation of radioactive glucose fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) in tumour tissue from patients with locally-advanced breast cancer before and after preoperative chemotherapy, women who had the highest accumulation at the beginning and who then had the highest percentage drop in accumulation after four cycles of chemotherapy were more likely to have a complete response to their treatment i.e. no tumour cells remaining in the final tumour resection specimen. However, measurements taken using mammography or ultrasound were not able to predict a pathological response accurately.

FDG-PET works by injecting a sugar molecule (FDG), tagged with a radioactive tracer, into the patient. The molecule is metabolically active and concentrates in tumour tissues where it emits energy that PET scanning can detect. PET measures the “standard uptake values” (SUVs), in other words, how much FDG has accumulated in the tumour. If the SUVs drop after chemotherapy, this shows that there are fewer, or no, cancer cells available where the FDG can accumulate. This study suggests that tumours with high initial SUVs seem to be more sensitive to chemotherapy, thereby giving a better chance of achieving a reduction or complete removal of the cancer.

Dr Ganju, a medical oncologist for Monash Oncology Research Institute (MORI) and Monash Breast Cancer Research Consortium, Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, Australia, said: “In our study, we were able to show that patients who had higher baseline SUVs and a greater reduction in SUV at the second PET scan, were more likely to respond to the chemotherapy and achieve a complete pathological response. Patients who achieve a complete pathological response are more likely to survive and have a better prognosis.”

The researchers recruited 47 women with locally advanced breast cancer to their study, and they were able to evaluate data from 44 of these women. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either fluorouracil, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide (FEC) followed by docetaxel, or docetaxel followed by FEC. They were assessed at the start by PET scans, physical examination, mammography, ultrasound and tumour biopsy, and again after four cycles of chemotherapy. The initial SUVs and the percentage reduction in SUVs after chemotherapy were correlated to pathological response (complete, partial or no response) as assessed by examination of biopsy samples.

Nine women had a complete pathological response (pCR), 15 had a partial response (pPR) and 20 less than optimal pathological response (NR) to chemotherapy. Women who had a pCR were significantly more likely to have higher SUVs before chemotherapy than NR women (an average of 9.7 versus 6.4 on the SUV measurement scale). The percentage reduction in SUVs after chemotherapy was also significant, with SUVs in pCR women reducing by an average of 83.3% compared to 50.4% in NR women.

Dr Ganju said: “This study shows that women with high baseline SUVs and a higher percentage reduction of SUVs after four cycles of chemotherapy are more likely to achieve a pathological complete response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy. FDG-PET appears to be an important addition to conventional imaging of women with breast cancer and may contribute significantly to a more individualised management of their disease. Currently, all patients receive the same chemotherapy regardless of their tumour characteristics. It would be very valuable to target therapies according to baseline tumour characteristics. This could spare the patient unnecessary on-going chemotherapy, or enable them to switch to a different therapy if the first was found to be ineffective.”

PET technology is advancing all the time. “Different tracer molecules other than glucose are available for PET studies. These may prove even more useful in the future, but most are still in the experimental stages,” concluded Dr Ganju. The group is also currently correlating the results from this study with the genetic profile of the tumours.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Cancer Conference. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Cancer Conference. "PET Scans Can Accurately Detect A Breast Tumor's Response To Chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925102257.htm>.
European Cancer Conference. (2007, September 28). PET Scans Can Accurately Detect A Breast Tumor's Response To Chemotherapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925102257.htm
European Cancer Conference. "PET Scans Can Accurately Detect A Breast Tumor's Response To Chemotherapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070925102257.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins