89Zr-Trastuzumab PET/CT Imaging of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer for Predicting Pathological Complete Response after Neoadjuvant Systemic Therapy: A Feasibility Study

D. G.J. Linders*, M. M. Deken, M. A. van Dam, M. N.J.M. Wasser, E. M.C. Voormolen, J. R. Kroep, G. A.M.S. van Dongen, D. Vugts, L. F. de Geus-Oei, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Approximately 20% of invasive ductal breast malignancies are human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive. These patients receive neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NAT) including HER2-targeting therapies. Up to 65% of patients achieve a pathological complete response (pCR). These patients might not have needed surgery. However, accurate preoperative identification of a pCR remains challenging. A radiologic complete response (rCR) on MRI corresponds to a pCR in only 73% of patients. The current feasibility study investigates if HER2-targeted PET/CT-imaging using Zirconium-89 (89Zr)-radiolabeled trastuzumab can be used for more accurate NAT response evaluation. Methods: HER2-positive breast cancer patients scheduled to undergo NAT and subsequent surgery received a 89Zr-trastuzumab PET/CT both before (PET/CT-1) and after (PET/CT-2) NAT. Qualitative and quantitative response evaluation was performed. Results: Six patients were enrolled. All primary tumors could be identified on PET/CT-1. Four patients had a pCR and two a pathological partial response (pPR) in the primary tumor. Qualitative assessment of PET/CT resulted in an accuracy of 66.7%, compared to 83.3% of the standard-of-care MRI. Quantitative assessment showed a difference between the SUVR on PET/CT-1 and PET/CT-2 (ΔSUVR) in patients with a pPR and pCR of −48% and −90% (p = 0.133), respectively. The difference in tumor-to-blood ratio on PET/CT-1 and PET/CT-2 (ΔTBR) in patients with pPR and pCR was −79% and −94% (p = 0.133), respectively. Three patients had metastatic lymph nodes at diagnosis that were all identified on PET/CT-1. All three patients achieved a nodal pCR. Qualitative assessment of the lymph nodes with PET/CT resulted in an accuracy of 66.7%, compared to 50% of the MRI. Conclusions: NAT response evaluation using 89Zr-trastuzumab PET/CT is feasible. In the current study, qualitative assessment of the PET/CT images is not superior to standard-of-care MRI. Our results suggest that quantitative assessment of 89Zr-trastuzumab PET/CT has potential for a more accurate response evaluation of the primary tumor after NAT in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4980
Number of pages16
JournalCancers
Volume15
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • breast cancer
  • HER2-targeted PET/CT
  • human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
  • neoadjuvant therapy
  • surgery-free treatment strategy
  • treatment response evaluation

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