Imaging Agent May Provide Early Info About Benefits of Hormone Therapies for Breast Cancer

Imaging Agent May Provide Early Info About Benefits of Hormone Therapies for Breast Cancer
A new imaging agent that successfully measures changes in progesterone receptor (PR) levels may be used to determine if a breast cancer patient will respond to hormone therapies targeting the estrogen receptor (ER), a study suggests. The study, "Sensitivity and Isoform Specificity of 18F-Fluorofuranylnorprogesterone for Measuring Progesterone Receptor Protein Response to Estradiol Challenge in Breast Cancer," was published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Breast cancer patients whose disease is positive for the ER — the most common form of the disease — normally are treated with some form of hormone therapy targeting the ER. But first, doctors normally administer a short course of estrogen treatment —  called a estradiol challenge — to determine if a patient is likely to benefit from these approaches.  This is done by monitoring changes in PR levels during treatment, which increase in the presence of estrogen. Several imaging agents have been developed to monitor and examine changes in PR levels, and researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health now studied if the 18F-fluorofuranylnorprogesterone (18F-FFNP) imaging agent could be used for that purpose. The 18F-FFNP has been used for identifying PR-positive breast cancer in one study, where it also was found safe and highly specific to PR proteins. "Typically, anatomic size and proliferation biomarkers are analyzed to determine endocrine sensitivity," Amy M. Fowler, MD, PhD, said in a
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