Background: This pilot study investigated the feasibility of (18)F-3'-deoxy-3'-fluoro-l-thymidine ((18)F-FLT) as a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer for the visualisation of breast cancer.
Methods: Patients with breast cancer underwent (18)F-FLT-PET prior to surgery. The uptake of (18)F-FLT was determined in the primary tumour and in the axilla.
Results: Eight tumours were visualized by (18)F-FLT-PET with a mean uptake value (SUV(mean)) of 1.7 and mean tumour-non-tumour ratio (TNT) of 5.0. In seven patients, axillary lymph-node metastases were found at pathological examinations, however, (18)F-FLT-PET showed uptake in only two large (and clinically evident) lymph-node metastases.
Conclusions: (18)F-FLT shows uptake in most primary breast tumours and in large axillary lymph-node metastases.