Estrogen receptor PET imaging detects early stage breast cancer, with limitations

September 3, 2013

Early-stage breast cancer lesions can be detected with F-18 FES PET, but success depends on tumor size and level of disease, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine .

A team of researchers, including Mary L. Gemignani, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and others evaluated the feasibility of using F-18 FES (16 alpha-F-18 fluoro-17 beta-estradiol) to ferret out new cases of breast cancer by searching for estrogen receptor expression as an indicator of disease. Previous studies have already laid a foundation for the radiotracer in cases of advanced-stage breast cancer. Results of this study indicated that while F-18 FES was sensitive to cancer in disparate areas, it did not catch all tumors present.