Axillary lymph node-to-primary tumor standard uptake value ratio on preoperative 18F-FDG PET/CT: A prognostic factor for invasive ductal breast cancer

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This study assessed the axillary lymph node (ALN)-toprimary tumor maximum standard uptake value (SUVmax) ratio (ALN/T SUV ratio) in invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) on preoperative 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/ computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) to determine the effectiveness in predicting recurrence-free survival (RFS). Methods: One hundred nineteen IDC patients (mean age, 50.5±10.5 years) with pathologically proven ALN involvement without distant metastasis and preoperative FDG PET/CT were enrolled in the study. SUVmax values of the ALN and primary tumor were obtained on FDG PET/CT, and ALN/T SUV ratio was calculated. Several factors were evaluated for their effectiveness in predicting RFS. These included several parameters on FDG PET/CT as well as several clinicopathological parameters: pathologic tumor/ node stage; nuclear and histological grade; hormonal state; status with respect to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, mindbomb E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1 (MIB-1), and p53; primary tumor size; and ALN size. Results: Among 119 patients with breast cancer, 17 patients (14.3%) experienced relapse during follow-up (mean follow-up, 28.4 months). The ALN/T SUV ratio of the group with disease recurrence was higher than that of the group without recurrence (0.97±1.60 and 0.45±0.40, respectively, p=0.005). Univariate analysis showed that the primary tumor SUVmax, ALN SUVmax, ALN/T SUV ratio, ALN status, nuclear and histological grade, estrogen receptor (ER) status, and MIB-1 status were predictors for RFS. Among these variables, ALN/T SUV ratio with hazard ratio of 4.20 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.74–10.13) and ER status with hazard ratio of 4.33 (95% CI, 1.06–17.71) were predictors for RFS according to multivariate analysis (p=0.002 and p=0.042, respectively). Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that ALN/T SUV ratio together with ER status was an independent factor for predicting relapse in IDC with metastatic ALN. ALN/T SUV ratio on preoperative FDG PET/CT may be a useful marker for selecting IDC patients that need adjunct treatment to prevent recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Breast Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Korean Breast Cancer Society. All rights reserved.


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Lymph nodes
  • Prognosis


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