Correlation between tumour characteristics, SUV measurements, metabolic tumour volume, TLG and textural features assessed with 18F-FDG PET in a large cohort of oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer patients

  • Charles LemarignierEmail author
  • Antoine Martineau
  • Luis Teixeira
  • Laetitia Vercellino
  • Marc Espié
  • Pascal Merlet
  • David Groheux
Original Article



The study was designed to evaluate 1) the relationship between PET image textural features (TFs) and SUVs, metabolic tumour volume (MTV), total lesion glycolysis (TLG) and tumour characteristics in a large prospective and homogenous cohort of oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer (BC) patients, and 2) the capability of those parameters to predict response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).


171 consecutive patients with large or locally advanced ER+ BC without distant metastases underwent an 18F-FDG PET examination before NAC. The primary tumour was delineated with an adaptive threshold segmentation method. Parameters of volume, intensity and texture (entropy, homogeneity, contrast and energy) were measured and compared with tumour characteristics determined on pre-treatment breast biopsy (Wilcoxon rank-sum test). The correlation between PET-derived parameters was determined using Spearman’s coefficient. The relationship between PET features and pathological findings was determined using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test.


Spearman’s coefficients between SUVmax and TFs were 0.43, 0.24, -0.43 and -0.15 respectively for entropy, homogeneity, energy and contrast; they were higher between MTV and TFs: 0.99, 0.86, -0.99 and -0.87. All TFs showed a significant association with the histological type (IDC vs. ILC; 0.02 < P < 0.03) but didn’t with immunohistochemical characteristics. SUVmax and TLG predicted the pathological response (P = 0.0021 and P = 0.02 respectively); TFs didn’t (P: 0.27, 0.19, 0.94, 0.19 respectively for entropy, homogeneity, energy and contrast).


The correlation of TFs was poor with SUV parameters and high with MTV. TFs showed a significant association with the histological type. Finally, while SUVmax and TLG were able to predict response to NAC, TFs failed.


Breast cancer Oestrogen receptor-positive tumour 18F-FDG PET Texture features Metabolic tumour volume Total lesion glycolysis 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was in part supported by an academic grant (“Translational research in oncology” INCa-DHOS-5697).

Conflicts of interest

All the authors declared no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the principles of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this ancillary study, written consent was not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineSaint-Louis Hospital, Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de ParisParis Cedex 10France
  2. 2.Breast Diseases UnitSaint-Louis HospitalParisFrance
  3. 3.University Sorbonne Paris Cité, INSERM/CNRS UMR944/7212ParisFrance

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