PET imaging agent may allow early measurement of efficacy of breast cancer therapy
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IMAGE: Representative coronal 18F-FFNP PET/CT images of MDA-MB-231 (red arrow), 231 PR-A (white arrows), and 231 PR-B (yellow arrow) tumor xenografts (19 d after implantation) from 12 mice imaged 1 h… view more 

Credit: K Salem et al., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

Physicians may soon have a new way to measure the efficacy or failure of hormone therapy for breast cancer patients, according to new research published in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Researchers report that positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with 18F-fluorofuranylnorprogesterone (18F-FFNP) has been found to successfully measure changes in progesterone receptor (PR) levels resulting from a short-course estrogen treatment, also known as an estradiol challenge.

Estrogen-receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer is the most common class of breast cancer, affecting nearly 70 percent of patients. By participating in an estradiol challenge, physicians can determine the likelihood of potential benefit of hormonal therapies targeting ER for individual patients. Many hormone therapies interfere with the ability of estrogen to regulate the expression of PR protein, which is more pronounced in the presence of estrogen. As such, several PET tracers have been developed to monitor and analyze changes in the

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