DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4008-1Pages: 1661-1671

Response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer judged by PERCIST – multicenter study in Japan

1. Hyogo College of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Division of Nuclear Medicine and PET Center

2. Kurashiki Central Hospital, Department of Diagnostic Radiology

3. Kurashiki Central Hospital, Department of General Surgery

4. Kagoshima University, Department of Radiology, Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences

5. Tottori University, Department of Pathophysiological and Therapeutic Sciences, Division of Radiology

6. Tottori University, Division of Breast Cancer and Endocrine Surgery, Faculty of Medicine

7. National Cancer Center Hospital, Department of Diagnostic Radiology

8. National Cancer Center Hospital, Department of Breast Surgery

9. Kinki University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology

10. Hyogo College of Medicine, Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery

Correspondence to:
Kazuhiro Kitajima
Tel: +81-798-45-6883




The purpose of this study was to evaluate therapeutic response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and predict breast cancer recurrence using Positron Emission Tomography Response Criteria in Solid Tumors (PERCIST).

Materials and methods

Fifty-nine breast cancer patients underwent fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) before and after NAC prior to planned surgical resection. Pathological complete response (pCR) of the primary tumor was evaluated using PERCIST, while effects of clinicopathological factors on progression-free survival (PFS) were examined using log-rank and Cox methods.


Fifty-six patients and 54 primary tumors were evaluated. Complete metabolic response (CMR), partial metabolic response, stable metabolic disease, and progressive metabolic disease were seen in 45, 7, 3, and 1 patients, respectively, and 43, 7, 3, and 1 primary tumors, respectively. Eighteen (33.3%) of the 54 primary tumors showed pCR. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy of PERCIST to predict pCR were 100% (18/18), 30.6% (11/36), 41.9% (18/43), 100% (11/11), and 53.7% (29/54), respectively. An optimal percent decrease in peak standardized uptake value for a primary tumor corrected for lean body mass (SULpeak) of 84.3% was found to have a sensitivity of 77.8% (14/18), specificity of 77.8% (28/36), PPV of 63.6% (14/22), NPV of 87.5% (28/32), and accuracy of 77.8% (42/54). Seven (12.5%) of the 56 patients developed recurrent disease (median follow-up 28.1 months, range 11.4–96.4 months). CMR (p = 0.031), pCR (p = 0.024), and early TNM stage (p = 0.033) were significantly associated with longer PFS.


PERCIST is useful for predicting pathological response and prognosis following NAC in breast cancer patients. However, FDG-PET/CT showed a tendency toward underestimation of the residual tumor, and relatively low specificity and PPV of PERCIST showed that a combination of other imaging modalities would still be needed to predict pCR.

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  • Accepted: Apr 5, 2018
  • Online: May 12, 2018

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