To evaluate metabolic and volume-based parameters of 18-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography ((18F)FDG PET/CT) for primary mass and axillary lymph node (ALN) metastasis in relation to molecular subtype, and immunohistochemistry and inflammatory markers in patients with invasive ductal carcinoma.
A total of 129 patients (mean±SD age: 49.2±13.0 years) with invasive ductal breast cancer who had (18F)FDG PET/CT imaging prior to chemotherapy or surgery were included in this single-center retrospective study. Data on patient age, molecular subtype, ALN metastasis status, inflammatory markers, immunohistochemistry markers and (18F)FDG PET/CT imaging parameters for primary mass and ALN were recorded.
ALN metastasis was evident in 52.7% of patients and associated with significantly higher median diameter (P=0.027), MTV (P<0.001) and TLG (P<0.001). NLR was positively correlated with all primary mass (p ranged from 0.041 to 0.001) and ALN (P ranged from 0.026 to <0.001) PET parameters. PET parameters did not change with respect to molecular subtype or immunohistochemistry markers. Primary mass and ALN metastasis PET parameters showed significant positive correlations for TLG (r=0.274, P=0.001) and SUVmax (r=0.358, P<0.001).
In conclusion, our findings in a retrospective cohort of invasive ductal breast cancer patients revealed primary mass PET parameters to significantly differ with respect to ALN metastasis status and NLR levels, but not according to molecular subtype or immunohistochemistry markers. Accordingly, our findings highlight the value of acquisition of preoperative PET/CT imaging and role of both metabolic and volume-based parameters in predicting aggressiveness of the tumor as correlated with presence of ALN metastasis and high NLR.