Impact of 18F-FDG PET/CT in the management decisions of breast cancer board on early-stage breast cancer

Clin Transl Oncol. 2024 May;26(5):1139-1146. doi: 10.1007/s12094-023-03331-1. Epub 2023 Oct 17.


Purpose: Breast cancer is the most common malignancy accounting for 11.7% of all cancer cases, with a rising incidence rate. Various diagnostic methods, including 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT), play a crucial role in breast cancer diagnosis and staging. However, the unnecessary use of advanced imaging techniques such as PET/CT in early-stage breast cancer can have negative effects on both economics and patients. We aimed to investigate the impact of PET/CT on the management decisions of early-stage breast cancer patients by the breast cancer tumor board.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on a cohort of 81 patients with early-stage breast cancer who were evaluated by breast cancer tumor board from January 2015 to December 2020. Demographic, clinical, and radiographic data, along with surgical procedures and treatment options, were documented and analyzed.

Results: The results showed that 18F-FDG PET/CT had a moderate impact on treatment decisions of breast cancer tumor board, as only treatment decisions were changed in 14,86% of the patients. The surgical procedure decision of breast cancer tumor board changed in 12.35% of patients, while 87.65% of patients had consistent decisions before and after PET/CT. Pathological assessments revealed invasive ductal carcinoma as the most prevalent tumor type, and molecular subtypes were predominantly luminal B. PET/CT use had limited impact on surgical procedures and did not significantly alter treatment decisions of breast cancer tumor board in this early-stage breast cancer cohort.

Conclusions: In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of adherence to the guidelines and appropriate use of PET/CT in early-stage breast cancer management. PET/CT should be reserved for cases where it is clinically warranted, considering the potential economic burden and minimal impact on treatment decisions of breast cancer tumor board in this patient population.

Keywords: 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT); Decision-making; Early-stage breast cancer; Tumor board.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography / methods
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Radiopharmaceuticals