, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 36-43
Date: 17 Nov 2012

Usefulness of Combined Metabolic–Volumetric Indices of 18F-FDG PET/CT for the Early Prediction of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Outcomes in Breast Cancer

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of metabolic-volumetric indices of 18F- fluorodeoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) for the evaluation of neoadjuvant chemotherapy outcomes in breast cancer.


Twenty-four patients with locally advanced breast cancer were enrolled in the study. They underwent baseline 18F-FDG PET/CT scan and received four or six cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, interim 18F-FDG PET/CT was done after second cycle of chemotherapy. Maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), metabolic tumor volume (MTV), and total lesion glycolysis (TLG) of the primary lesions were calculated. Reduction rates of these parameters were obtained between baseline and interim 18F-FDG PET/CT. Chemotherapy outcomes were assessed using tumor size reduction rate and histological grading system (Miller and Payne system). Reduction rates of SUVmax, MTV, and TLG correlated with chemotherapy outcomes.


MTV and TLG reduction rates showed significant correlation with tumor size reduction rate (R = 0.68, P = 0.0004; R = 0.62, P = 0.002, respectively). However, SUVmax reduction rate showed no significant correlation. MTV and TLG reduction rates were significantly higher in responders than nonresponders, as determined by Miller and Payne system (P < 0.0007, P < 0.002). However, SUVmax reduction rate showed no significant difference. On ROC analysis, the area under the MTV and TLG curves was 0.886, and that of SUVmax was 0.743. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value to predict histopathologic response were the same for MTV and TLG, and the values were 100 %, 85.7 %, 83.3 %, and 100 %, respectively (at the reduction rate of 93.2 % for MTV, and 95.8 % for TLG).


Changes of metabolic–volumetric indices successfully reflected the neoadjuvant chemotherapy outcomes. MTV and TLG could be robust indices in discriminating pathologic responder as SUVmax, after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.