Monitoring Response After The First Chemotherapy Cycle After Neoadjuvant Breast Cancer Therapy

2014-07-24 14:10:31 | BioPortfolio


A PET scan drop less than 20% in SUVs or below a certain absolute SUV value after the first course of neoadjuvant chemotherapy can predict pathological response, and could in the future lead to an early surgical intervention.


The use of neo-adjuvant systemic therapy in women recently diagnosed with breast cancer is growing in popularity based on its proven benefit (1). Pre-operative chemotherapy not only can assist in regards to breast conservation therapy (2) but data suggest prognostic benefits in those subset of patient's obtaining complete pathological response (3,4) .

It is imperative for clinicians to detect as early as possible those patients likely to obtain the desired clinical and /or pathologic response, thus identifying those patients who don't benefit from the first line neoadjuvant treatment so that their treatment can be modified accordingly.

Response to treatment based on clinical data or structural imaging, usually requires several chemotherapeutic cycles to establish degree of effectiveness (5). Lately, FDG-PET/CT has been used in different types of neoplasms, breast cancer among them, to establish early response to treatment (6,7). Recent data has established the usefulness of metabolic analysis via FDG-PET, in separating subgroups of chemotherapy. For such analytical approach, sequential estimation of SUVs (Standardized Uptake Value) have been measured along the duration of the treatment. Reduction in SUVs presumes adequate response to treatment (8), while little or no change in metabolic activity presumes sub-optimal response .

However, no definite consensus has been established in regards to what degree of metabolic response is predictive of the desired clinical benefit, particularly early in the treatment . Establishing such criteria could potentially serve as a guideline for monitoring neoadjuvant treatment. Schelling et al, was able to separate a group of patients that eventually showed either progression of the disease or no clinical response as early as the first course of chemotherapy.

The aim of our study is to establish a simple formula using FDG-PET/CT, as early as the first course of chemotherapy, to stratify patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy for recently diagnosed breast cancer. Those who will benefit from continuing the same treatment will be regarded as responders versus non-responders, which are those in need of changing strategy.

The primary goal of this study is to correlate the results of FDG-PET/CT performed 15 days after the first course of chemotherapy versus those of clinical assessment and breast MRI obtained after the 3rd course of chemotherapy. At that time, a clinical decision on which therapeutic path to be followed will be made.

Study Design

Allocation: Non-Randomized, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Diagnostic


Localized Breast Cancer


PET scan after course 1 and surgery after 8 courses


Auxilio Mutuo Hospital
San Juan
Puerto Rico




Auxilio Mutuo Cancer Center

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:10:31-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The phosphoprotein encoded by the BRCA1 gene (GENE, BRCA1). In normal cells the BRCA1 protein is localized in the nucleus, whereas in the majority of breast cancer cell lines and in malignant pleural effusions from breast cancer patients, it is localized mainly in the cytoplasm. (Science 1995;270(5237):713,789-91)

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A fluid-filled closed cavity or sac that is lined by an EPITHELIUM and found in the BREAST. It may appear as a single large cyst in one breast, multifocal, or bilateral in FIBROCYSTIC BREAST DISEASE.

Intraoperative computer-assisted 3D navigation and guidance system generally used in neurosurgery for tracking surgical tools and localize them with respect to the patient's 3D anatomy. The pre-operative diagnostic scan is used as a reference and is transferred onto the operative field during surgery.

A common and benign breast disease characterized by varying degree of fibrocystic changes in the breast tissue. There are three major patterns of morphological changes, including FIBROSIS, formation of CYSTS, and proliferation of glandular tissue (adenosis). The fibrocystic breast has a dense irregular, lumpy, bumpy consistency.

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