Purpose: Tumour angiogenesis is an independent and strong prognostic factor in early breast carcinoma. We performed this study to investigate the ability of (18)F-FDG to detect angiogenesis in early breast carcinoma using PET/CT.
Methods: Twenty consecutive patients with early (T1-T2) breast carcinoma were recruited prospectively for 18F-FDG PET/CT. The PET/CT data were used to calculate whole tumour maximum standardized uptake value (SUV(max)) and mean standardized uptake value (SUV(mean)). All patients underwent subsequent surgery without prior chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The excised tumour underwent immunohistochemistry for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), CD105 and glucose transporter protein 1 (GLUT1).
Results: The SUV(max) showed the following correlation with tumour histology: CD105: r = 0.60, p = 0.005; GLUT1: r = 0.21, p = 0.373; VEGF: r = -0.16, p = 0.496. The SUV(mean) showed the following correlation with tumour histology: CD105: r = 0.65, p = 0.002; GLUT1: r = 0.34, p = 0.144; VEGF: r = -0.18, p = 0.443
Conclusion: (18)F-FDG uptake is highly significantly associated with angiogenesis as measured by the immunohistochemistry with CD105 for new vessel formation. Given that tumour angiogenesis is an important prognostic indicator and a predictor of treatment response, (18)F-FDG PET may have a role in the management of primary breast cancer patients even in early-stage disease.