Predictive and prognostic value of FDG-PET/CT imaging and different response evaluation criteria after primary systemic therapy of breast cancer

Tímea Tőkés, Kornélia Kajáry, Gyöngyvér Szentmártoni, Zsolt Lengyel, Tamás Györke, László Torgyík, Krisztián Somlai, Anna Mária Tőkés, Janina Kulka, Magdolna Dank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: (1) To predict pathological complete remission (pCR) and survival after primary systemic therapy (PST) in patients diagnosed with breast cancer by using two different PET/CT based scores: a simplified PERCIST-based PET/CT score (Method 1) and a combined PET/CT score supplemented with the morphological results of the RECIST system (Method 2) and (2) to assess the effect of different breast carcinoma subtypes on tumor response and its evaluation. Methods: Eighty-eight patients were enrolled in the study who underwent PET/CT imaging before and after PST. PET/CTs were evaluated by changes in maximum Standardized Uptake Value (SUVmax) and tumor size. Method 1 and 2 were applied to predict pathological complete remission (pCR). Kaplan–Meier analyses for survival were performed. Classification into biological subtypes was performed based on the pre-therapeutic tumor characteristics. Results: A total of 30/88 patients showed pCR (34.1 %). Comparing pCR/non-pCR patient groups, significant differences were detected by changes in SUVmax (p < 0.001) and tumor size (p < 0.001) regarding the primary breast lesions. To predict pCR, Method 2 had higher sensitivity (72.4 % vs. 44.8 %) and negative predictive value (57.9 % vs. 45.8 %) with lower false negativity rate (16 vs. 32) than Method 1. pCR rate was higher in Her2-positive and triple negative tumors. Despite the significant differences detected between the biological subtypes regarding changes in primary tumor SUVmax (p = 0.007) and size (p = 0.015), the subtypes only had significant impact on response evaluation with Method 2 and not with Method 1. In our study, neither clinical nor pathological CR were predictors of longer progression-free survival. Conclusions: Our results suggest that combined PET/CT criteria are more predictive of pCR. The effect of biological subtypes is significant on pCR rate as well as on the changes in FDG-uptake and morphological tumor response. Response evaluation with combined criteria was also able to reflect the differences between the biological behavior of breast tumor subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-146
Number of pages10
JournalBreast Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Primary systemic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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