Introduction: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) can reveal the metabolic activity of malignant tumors. Recent advances gained from molecular studies suggest that tumor biology can be a good predictor of prognosis in breast cancer. We compared the ability of maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) derived by FDG-PET with tumor burden in predicting tumor recurrence for patients with breast cancer. Methods: 496 patients with breast cancer who underwent preoperative FDG-PET between April 2004 and May 2009 were retrospectively identified. SUVmax was obtained by FDG-PET, and the cutoff point was defined using a time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curve for recurrence-free survival (RFS). The primary endpoint was RFS. Results: In multivariate analysis for RFS, SUVmax carried independent prognostic significance (hazard ratio, 2.39; 95% confidence interval, 1.20 to 4.76; P = 0.012). When the patients were classified into four groups according to the combined factors of tumor size (≤2 cm versus >2 cm) and SUVmax (<4 versus ≥4), RFS differed significantly (P < 0.001). Similarly, SUVmax had prognostic value in combination with nodal status (negative versus positive) or stage (I versus II and III) (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively). In hormone receptor-positive disease, SUVmax remained a significant prognostic factor for RFS based on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Our results highlight the prognostic value of FDG-PET in prediction of tumor relapse for patients with breast cancer. Particularly in patients with hormone receptor-positive disease, the tumor metabolic information provided by FDG-PET is more significantly correlated with prognosis than tumor burden.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research