FDG PET/CT for prognostic stratification of patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with first line systemic therapy: Comparison of EORTC criteria and PERCIST

PLoS One. 2018 Jul 16;13(7):e0199529. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199529. eCollection 2018.


Aim: Evaluate response and predict prognosis of patients with newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer treated with first line systemic therapy using European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) criteria and PET Response Criteria in solid Tumours (PERCIST).

Methods: From December 2006 to August 2013, 57 women with newly diagnosed metastatic breast cancer were retrospectively evaluated. FDG-PET/CT was performed within one month before treatment and repeated after at least 3 cycles of treatment. Metabolic response evaluation was evaluated by two readers according to both EORTC criteria and PERCIST, classifying the patients into 4 response groups: complete metabolic response (CMR), partial metabolic response (PMR), stable metabolic disease (SMD), and progressive metabolic disease (PMD).

Results: With EORTC criteria, 22 patients had CMR, 17 PMR, 6 SMD and 12 PMD. With PERCIST, 20 patients had CMR, 15 PMR, 10 SMD and 12 PMD. There was agreement between EORTC and PERCIST in 84% of the patients. By log-rank analysis, metabolic response evaluated with both EORTC criteria and PERCIST was able to predict overall survival (p = 0.028 and 0.002 respectively). CMR patient group had longer median OS than patients in the combined PMR+SMD+PMD group (60 vs 26 months both with EORTC and PERCIST; p = 0.009 and 0.006 respectively). By multivariate analysis, CMR either with EORTC or PERCIST remained an independent predictor of survival.

Conclusion: Metabolic response evaluation with EORTC criteria and PERCIST gave similar prognostic stratification for metastatic breast cancer treated with a first line of systemic therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography* / methods
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.