A new study shows that disease-free survival for invasive ductal Breast Cancer (IDC) patients may be easier to predict with the help of F-18-fludeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans. Data show that high maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) of F-18-FDG in the lymph nodes prior to treatment could be an independent indicator of disease recurrence. Researchers followed 65 female patients with IDC who had undergone pretreatment F-18-FDG PET/CT and who had pathologically confirmed axillary lymph node involvement without distant metastases.
Among the patients, 53 were disease-free and 12 had disease recurrence during the follow-up period. While both the primary-tumor and nodal SUVmax were higher in patients with recurrence, the nodal SUVmax was significantly higher. In addition, compared to the other factors that were analyzed, only nodal SUVmax was found to be an independent determinant of disease-free survival. Using a receiver-operating-characteristic curve, the researchers demonstrated that a nodal SUVmax of 2.8 was the optimal cutoff for predicting disease-free survival.
Results were published in the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. See: "F-18-FDG Uptake by Metastatic Axillary Lymph Nodes on Pretreatment PET/CT as a Prognostic Factor for Recurrence in Patients with Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer.” Bong-Il Song et al. J Nucl Med September 1, 2012 vol. 53 no. 9 1337-1344