02 Oct FDG PET/CT May Improve Staging In Young Breast Cancer Patients
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Gary Ulaner, MD, PhD
Assistant Attending Radiologist
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Assistant Professor of Radiology, Weill Cornell Medical School
Chair, Radiology Research Committee
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Ulaner: FDG PET/CT revealed distant metastases in 17% of asymptomatic stage IIB breast cancer patients below 40 years of age. Although NCCN guidelines recommend against systemic staging in patients with stage II disease, our data suggests that PET/CT might be valuable in younger patients at earlier stages of disease than previously expected.
Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?
Dr. Ulaner: In addition to the discovery of extra-axillary lymph nodes and distant metastases that alter the stage of breast cancer patients, 5 of 134 patients were discovered to have a second unsuspected malignancy (4 thyroid and 1 rectal).
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Ulaner: Not all breast cancer patients are the same. Clinical factors, such as patient age, may alter the value of FDG PET/CT systemic staging in different groups of breast cancer patients.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Ulaner: Future NCCN guidelines may need to account for other factors in addition to clinical stage to determine whether a breast cancer patient should undergo systemic staging with FDG PET/CT.