Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 331-346

First online:

Diagnostic and prognostic application of positron emission tomography in breast imaging: emerging uses and the role of PET in monitoring treatment response

  • Jessica Anna CintoloAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Email author 
  • , Julia TchouAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • , Daniel A. PrymaAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

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Positron emission tomography (PET) is an imaging modality that using radiotracers, permits real-time dynamic monitoring of biologic processes such as cell metabolic behavior and proliferation, and has proven useful as a research tool for understanding tumor biology. While it does not have a well-defined role in breast cancer for the purposes of screening, diagnosis, or prognosis, emerging PET technologies and uses could expand the applications of PET in breast cancer. Positron emission mammography may provide an alternative adjunct imaging modality for the screening and diagnosis of high-risk patients unable to tolerate MRI. The development of radiotracers with the ability to measure hormonal activity could provide a non-invasive way to assess hormone receptor status and functionality. Finally, the role of PET technologies in monitoring early treatment response may prove particularly useful to research involving new therapeutic interventions.


Breast cancer PET FDG PET FLT-PET FES-PET PET/CT Early treatment response