Breast Cancer

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 123–130

The current status of positron emission mammography in breast cancer diagnosis

  • Vasileios Kalles
  • George C. Zografos
  • Xeni Provatopoulou
  • Dimitra Koulocheri
  • Antonia Gounaris
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12282-012-0433-3

Cite this article as:
Kalles, V., Zografos, G.C., Provatopoulou, X. et al. Breast Cancer (2013) 20: 123. doi:10.1007/s12282-012-0433-3

Abstract

Mammography is currently the standard breast cancer screening procedure, even though it is constrained by low specificity in the detection of malignancy and low sensitivity in women with dense breast tissue. Modern imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been developed in an effort to replace or complement mammography, because the early detection of breast cancer is critical for efficient treatment and long-term survival of patients. Nuclear medicine imaging technology has been introduced in the field of oncology with the development of positron emission tomography (PET), positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) and, ultimately, positron emission mammography (PEM). PET offers the advantage of precise diagnosis, by measuring metabolism with the use of a radiotracer and identifying changes at the cellular level. PET/CT imaging allows for a more accurate assessment by merging the anatomic localization to the functional image. However, both techniques have not yet been established as diagnostic tools in early breast cancer detection, primarily because of low sensitivity, especially for sub-centimeter and low-grade tumors. PEM, a breast-specific device with increased spatial resolution, has been developed in order to overcome these limitations. It has demonstrated higher detectability than PET/CT and comparable or better sensitivity than MRI. The ability to target the lesions visible in PEM with PEM-guided breast biopsy systems adds to its usability in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. The results from recent studies summarized in this review indicate that PEM may prove to be a useful first-line diagnostic tool, although further evaluation and improvement are required.

Keywords

Breast cancerPositron emission mammographyPET/CTPositron emission tomography

Copyright information

© The Japanese Breast Cancer Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasileios Kalles
    • 1
    • 4
  • George C. Zografos
    • 1
  • Xeni Provatopoulou
    • 2
  • Dimitra Koulocheri
    • 3
  • Antonia Gounaris
    • 2
  1. 1.Breast Unit, 1st Propaedeutic Surgical Clinic, Hippocratio General HospitalUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Research CenterHellenic Anticancer InstituteAthensGreece
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, Hippocratio General HospitalUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  4. 4.Nea SmyrniGreece