International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 588–593 | Cite as

Value of PET-FDG in primary breast cancer based on histopathological and immunohistochemical prognostic factors

  • Pierre HeudelEmail author
  • Sebastien Cimarelli
  • Anthony Montella
  • Catherine Bouteille
  • Thomas Mognetti
Original Article



The aim of the study was to analyze in breast tumors the correlation between [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake assessed by positron emission tomography (PET) and histopathological and immunohistochemical prognostic factors.


FDG-PET combined with computed tomography (CT) was performed before surgery in 45 women with biopsy-proven primary breast cancer. The standardized uptake value (SUV) was compared with histopathological findings after surgery.


A positive relationship was found between SUV and histological grade (p < 0.0001), histological type (p = 0.001), tumor size (p < 0.0435), estrogen receptor status (p < 0.0005), and progesterone receptor status (p = 0.002). FDG-PET/CT revealed unknown distant metastatic lesions in 2 of 12 patients with triple-negative breast cancer. The sensitivity of FDG-PET/CT for detecting axillary lymph node metastases was, respectively, 21% and 100% for pN1 and pN2 cases, whereas specificity was 100% for pN0.


SUV, a preoperative and noninvasive metabolic parameter, correlates with other known prognostic factors in breast cancer. This study provides valuable insight into the usefulness of FDG-PET/CT for preoperative staging of patients with triple-negative and poorly differentiated breast tumors but not for evaluating axillary lymph nodes and lobular carcinomas.


PET-FDG Breast cancer Triple-negative breast cancer Monitoring therapy 


Conflict of interest

No author has any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Heudel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sebastien Cimarelli
    • 2
  • Anthony Montella
    • 3
  • Catherine Bouteille
    • 4
  • Thomas Mognetti
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyLéon Bérard Cancer CenterLyonFrance
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineLéon Bérard Cancer CenterLyonFrance
  3. 3.Biostatistics UnitLéon Bérard Cancer CenterLyonFrance
  4. 4.Department of Surgical OncologyLéon Bérard Cancer CenterLyonFrance

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