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PET scans can accurately detect a breast tumor's response to chemotherapy
Date:9/25/2007

reater 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 percent compared to 50.4 percent 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
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Contact: Emma Mason
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34-932-308-834
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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