Whole-body total lesion glycolysis measured on fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography as a prognostic variable in metastatic breast cancer

BMC Cancer. 2014 Jul 21;14:525. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-14-525.


Background: In this retrospective study, the authors evaluated the prognostic value of whole-body total lesion glycolysis (WTLG) on FDG/PET images in metastatic breast cancer (MBC) patients.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 54 MBC patients who were diagnosed as having one or more metastatic lesions between June 2005 and March 2013. Twenty-four patients were diagnosed at the initial presentation (group A) and 30 patients were diagnosed for the first time at some point after a surgery (group B). Patients were excluded if they had received chemotherapy within 30 days before PET/CT. SUVmax and total TLG were calculated for all lesions in each patient and the highest SUVmax and the whole-body TLG (WTLG) values were used as independent variables for the analyses. Mean ages and the proportions of histopathological subtypes were compared between two groups using Mann-Whitney U test and Fisher's exact test, respectively. The prognostic significance of PET parameters was assessed using Cox proportional hazards regression analysis.

Results: For groups A and B, the median follow-up period was 26 months (range, 3-58 months) and 40.5 months (range, 3-69 months), and the median age was 61 years (range, 42-81 years) and 59 years (range, 24-74 years), respectively. There were no significant differences between two groups in age (p = 0.294) or histopathological subtype (p = 0.384). In the univariate analyses, WTLG was found to be significantly associated with overall survival (OS) for patients of group A (p = 0.012). In the multivariate analysis, WTLG was also significantly associated with OS (p = 0.015). Only hormonal receptor level was a significant indicator of longer OS in patients with recurrent MBC (group B).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that WTLG on PET/CT is an independent prognostic factor for survival in breast cancer patients with metastases at the initial presentation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Whole Body Imaging / methods*


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18