It is unknown whether the current dose of fulvestrant, an estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist, is sufficient for maximal ER downregulation in patients with metastatic breast cancer. We performed a feasibility study to assess ER availability before and during fulvestrant. Sixteen patients with ER-positive metastatic breast cancer underwent positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) at baseline (scan 1), day 28 (scan 2), and day 84 (scan 3) to monitor tumor [18 F] fluoroestradiol (FES) uptake. Incomplete reduction in ER availability was predefined as = 1.5. In total, 131 FES-positive lesions were identified (median SUVmax of 2.9; range, 1.7-6.5). The median change in patients during fulvestrant treatment was -85% at scan 2, but varied widely (-99% to +60%). Fulvestrant reduced tumor FES uptake incompletely at scan 2 in 6 (38%) of the 16 patients, which was associated with early progression.
SIGNIFICANCE: Serial imaging of tumor estrogen uptake by FES-PET can give insight into the dose needed for ER antagonists to completely abolish ER. FES-PET showed significant residual ER availability in tumors during fulvestrant therapy in 38% of patients, which was associated with early progression. (C)2014 AACR.
- POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN