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Prediction of pathological response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using baseline FDG PET heterogeneity features in breast cancer.

Complete pathological response to neoadjuvant systemic treatment (NAST) in some subtypes of breast cancer (BC) has been used as a surrogate of long-term outcome. The possibility of predicting BC pathological response to NAST based on the baseline 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET), without the need of an interim study, is a focus of recent discussion. This review summarises the characteristics and results of the available studies regarding the potential impact of heterogeneity features of the primary tumour burden on baseline FDG PET in predicting pathological response to NAST in BC patients. Literature search was conducted on PubMed database and relevant data from each selected study were collected. A total of 13 studies were eligible for inclusion, all of them published over the last 5 years. Eight out of 13 analysed studies indicated an association between FDG PET-based tumour uptake heterogeneity features and prediction of response to NAST. When features associated with predicting response to NAST were derived, these varied between studies. Therefore, definitive reproducible findings across series were difficult to establish. This lack of consensus may reflect the heterogeneity and low number of included series. The clinical relevance of this topic justifies further investigation about the predictive role of baseline FDG PET.

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