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

endocrine therapy," said Amy Fowler, MD, PhD, lead author of the study.

In the study, mice with mammary cell lines (SSM1, SSM2 and SSM3) derived from STAT1-deficient mammary tumorswhich are ERα+/PR+ and similar to the majority of human breast cancerswere imaged. Small-animal PET/computed tomography (CT) was performed using F-18-FES to image estrogen receptor status, F-18-fluoro furanyl norprogesterone (F-18-FFNP) for progesterone receptor status, and FDG for glucose uptake.

Initial imaging of the cell lines showed that SSM3 tumors displayed the greatest F-18-FES and F-18-FFNP uptake, and therefore, the SSM3 cell line was used to test the response to estradiol, an ER agonist, and fulvestrant, a pure ER antagonist. Upon treatment with estradiol, it was determined that PR expression is estrogen-inducible and indicative of ERα signaling in the SSM3 tumors. Mice treated with fulvestrant showed early decreases in F-18-FFNP uptake after initiation of therapy, prior to measurable growth inhibition. SSM2 tumors, which were not growth-inhibited by fulvestrant despite also being ERα+/PR+, showed no change in F-18-FFNP uptake after initiation of therapy. These data support the potential use of PR imaging with F-18-FFNP PET of patients with ERα+ breast cancer at baseline and shortly after initiation of endocrine therapy to distinguish between responders and nonresponders, and thus help facilitate the selection of therapies most appropriate for individual patients.

"An important goal of molecular imaging in cancer research is to noninvasively predict early responses to therapies in order to guide further management," noted Fowler. "Our work using a preclinical model of breast cancer helps support the notion that molecular imaging can achieve this goal by testing whether the target utilized for a specific therapy is not only present but also functional."

An estimated one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her life
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Contact: Susan Martonik
smartonik@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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