Dedicated breast positron emission tomography (dbPET) is an emerging technology with high sensitivity and spatial resolution that enables detection of sub-centimeter lesions and depiction of intratumoral heterogeneity. In this study, we report our initial experience with dbPET using [F-18]fluoroestradiol (FES) in assessing ER+ primary breast cancers. Six patients with >90% ER+ and HER2- breast cancers were imaged with dbPET and breast MRI. Two patients had ILC, three had IDC, and one had an unknown primary tumor. One ILC patient was treated with letrozole, and another patient with IDC was treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy without endocrine treatment. In this small cohort, we observed FES uptake in ER+ primary breast tumors with specificity to ER demonstrated in a case with tamoxifen blockade. FES uptake in ILC had a diffused pattern compared to the distinct circumscribed pattern in IDC. In evaluating treatment response, the reduction of SUVmax was observed with residual disease in an ILC patient treated with letrozole, and an IDC patient treated with chemotherapy. Future study is critical to understand the change in FES SUVmax after endocrine therapy and to consider other tracer uptake metrics with SUVmax to describe ER-rich breast cancer. Limitations include variations of FES uptake in different ER+ breast cancer diseases and exclusion of posterior tissues and axillary regions. However, FES-dbPET has a high potential for clinical utility, especially in measuring response to neoadjuvant endocrine treatment. Further development to improve the field of view and studies with a larger cohort of ER+ breast cancer patients are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41523-019-0107-9
View details for PubMedID 31016232
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6467896