Researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University use PET/CT instead of biopsy to define appropriate breast cancer treatment

December 30, 2015

A new study shows that a novel imaging-based method for defining appropriateness of breast cancer treatment is as accurate as the current standard-of-care and could reduce the need for invasive tissue sampling. The results suggest that the method might lead to more optimal treatment of individual patients.

Measuring the growth factor HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2) is an important tool for deciding correct treatment in breast cancer. Treatments targeting HER2 are expensive but save the lives of many women. Targeted treatments have no effect if the metastases do not express HER2. The current diagnosis of elevated HER2 expression in metastatic cancer is based on examination of tissue samples obtained by surgery or needle biopsies from the liver, bones and other organs.

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