Objectives: To investigate quantitative methods of tumor proliferation using 3'-[F-18]fluoro-3'-deoxythymidine ([F-18]FLT) PET in patients with breast cancer (BC), studied before and after one bevacizumab administration, and to correlate the [F-18]FLT-PET uptake with the Ki67 index.
Material and methods: Thirty patients with newly diagnosed, untreated BC underwent a [F-18]FLT-PET before and 14 days after bevacizumab treatment. A dynamic scan centered over the tumor began simultaneously with the injection of [F-18]FLT (385 +/- 56 MBq). Image derived input functions were obtained using regions of interest drawn on the left ventricle (LV) and descending aorta (DA). Metabolite corrected blood curves were used as input functions to obtain the kinetic Ki constant using the Patlak graphical analysis (time interval 10-60 min after injection). Maximum SUV values were derived for the intervals 40-60 min (SUV40) and 50-60 min (SUV50). PET parameters were correlated with the Ki67 index obtained staining tumor biopsies.
Results: [F-18]FLT uptake parameters decreased significantly (p < 0.001) after treatment: SUV50 = 3.09 +/- 1.21 vs 2.22 +/- 0.96; SUV40 = 3.00 +/- 1.18 vs 2.14 +/- 0.95, Ki_LV(10-3) = 52[22-116] vs 38[13-80] and Ki_DA(10-3) = 49[15-129] vs 33[11-98]. Consistency interclass correlation coefficients within SUV and within Ki were high. Changes of SUV50 and Ki_DA between baseline PET and after one bevacizumab dose PET correlated with changes in Ki67 index (r-Pearson = 0.35