Coronal FDG Sections

Figure 4. Coronal sections from an 18F-FDG scan in a patient with metastatic breast cancer. Abnormal accumulation of 18F-FDG in a lymph node metastasis in the right axilla is indicated by the arrowhead. (Myocardial activity is seen in the mediastinum.) (Courtesy of ADAC Labs and Dr. J.-F. Gaillard, HIA Val de Grace, Paris, France.)

suspected recurrence it is probable that PET imaging will become the primary investigation in assessing degree of spread.

Monitoring Response

It is well known that a significant number of patients will fail first line chemotherapy. Data are now available from several centres suggesting that if FDG uptake by the tumor fails to decrease significantly after the first 2 cycles of chemotherapy, the patient is likely to be a non-responder. Absent FDG uptake after 2 cycles appears to predict a good response. If this is confirmed in additional clinical trials, then monitoring of response will probably become a routine measurement in PET imaging.


Recent years have seen a significant increase in disease free survival in patients with breast cancer, in part due to earlier diagnosis. A key tool in early diagnosis is the widespread use of screening mammography. Up to 8% of screening mammograms show abnormalities considered to be suspicious for malignancy. Patients are then usually referred for additional investigations, including diagnostic mammography,

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