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Imaging agents predict breast cancer response to endocrine therapy
Date:7/2/2012

Reston, Va. (July 2, 2012) Research published in the July issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows imaging progesterone receptor (PR) status also may be able to identify responders and nonresponders to endocrine therapy at an early stage. Estrogen receptor-α (ERα) status is an important factor in determining the most appropriate treatment for breast cancer patients, especially for those who are ERα+ and likely to respond well to hormone-based, or endocrine, therapies.

Prominent professor and research chemist Michael J. Welch, PhD, who passed away in May, was a contributing author for this research. "Throughout his career, Dr. Welch specialized in the synthesis of new radiolabeled compounds for medical imaging, with a special emphasis on the growing numbers of applications in PET," said Dominique Delbeke, MD, PhD, editor of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Noted for his ability to see beyond the immediate aspects of basic work to potential future applications, Welch was both a prime mover and an integral part in the development of PET as it transitioned from a compelling investigative idea to widespread clinical acceptance. "Many of his discoveries and research will live on well into the future," said Delbeke.

The study, "Small-Animal PET of Steroid Hormone Receptors Predicts Tumor Response to Endocrine Therapy Using a Preclinical Model of Breast Cancer" was an example of his unique approach to research.

"Positron emission tomography, or PET, has typically been used to identify the target for endocrine therapy in breast cancer by demonstrating that ER is present in tumors using F-18-fluoroestradiol (FES)-PET, or by monitoring for hormone-induced changes in tumor metabolism'metabolic flare' with F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET once therapy has begun. What is novel about our study is that we chose to image progesterone receptor levels to see how the estrogen signaling pathway is functioning in response to
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Contact: Susan Martonik
smartonik@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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