Predictive value of (99m)Tc sestamibi scintigraphy in the evaluation of doxorubicin based chemotherapy response in patients with advanced breast cancer

Nucl Med Commun. 2002 Aug;23(8):765-71. doi: 10.1097/00006231-200208000-00010.


Resistance to doxorubicin based chemotherapy is a major therapeutic problem limiting advanced breast cancer treatment. 99mTc hexakis-2-methoxyisobutylisonitrile ((99m)Tc-MIBI) has been reported to be extruded from tumour cells by the P-glycoprotein and multidrug resistance protein encoded by MDR1 and MRP1 genes, respectively. These proteins are involved in the cellular efflux of several chemotherapeutic agents including doxorubicin. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical value of a standard (99m)Tc-MIBI scintimammography technique in the prediction of response to chemotherapy in advanced breast cancer patients. Fifty-six lesions from 33 female patients with locally advanced (n=27) or recurrent breast cancer (n=6) were included in the study. MIBI scintigraphy was performed 2-8 days prior to chemotherapy (FAC regimen). Images were acquired 10 min and 1 h post-injection of 740-1110 MBq of (99m)Tc-MIBI. Tumour-to-normal background tissue uptake ratios were calculated on each lesion in the early (T/B(e)) and delayed phase of the study (T/B(d)). Both T/B(e) and T/B(d) ratios were significantly higher (P<0.0001) in responders (n=43) than nonresponders (n=13). Diagnostic values of (99m)Tc-MIBI in the prediction of chemotherapy response were evaluated using the arbitrary cut-off values of 1.5 for T/B(e) and 1.4 forT/B(d). Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were 88.4%, 92.3%, 97.4%, 70.6%; and 90.7%, 100.0%, 100.0%, 76.6%, for T/B(e) and T/B(d), respectively. We conclude that (99m)Tc-MIBI scintigraphy may be a clinically valuable tool for guiding chemotherapy in advanced breast cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / radiotherapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Technetium Tc 99m Sestamibi
  • Fluorouracil

Supplementary concepts

  • CAF protocol