18F-2-Fluoro-2-Deoxy-D-Glucose Positron Emission Tomography Scanning Affects Surgical Management in Selected Patients With High-Risk, Operable Breast Carcinoma

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Abstract

Background

The role of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in determining the extent of disease in patients with breast cancer has not been defined. We investigated the utility of 18F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-PET scanning compared with conventional imaging with computed tomographic scanning and bone scanning in determining the extent of disease in patients with high-risk, operable breast cancer.

Methods

This was a prospective study of patients who presented to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for operative treatment of breast cancer. Eighty eligible patients were enrolled and underwent computed tomographic chest, abdomen, pelvis, and bone scans, followed by FDG-PET. Changes in treatment based on scan findings were recorded by the operating surgeons. Imaging findings were verified by biopsy or long-term follow-up.

Results

Eight (10%) of 80 patients were found to have metastatic disease that was seen on both conventional imaging and PET. Four additional patients (5%) had additional foci of disease on PET that affected treatment decisions. No patient had findings on conventional imaging alone. Conventional imaging studies resulted in a higher number of findings that generated additional tests and biopsies that ultimately had negative results (17% vs. 5% for PET). There was a statistically significant difference in specificity for PET compared with conventional imaging (P = .01).

Conclusions

Conventional imaging and PET were equally sensitive in detecting metastatic disease in patients with high-risk, operable breast cancer, but PET generated fewer false-positive results. FDG-PET scanning should be further studied in this setting and considered in the preoperative evaluation of selected patients with breast cancer.

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