New testing method may reduce need for breast cancer surgeries, biopsies
The study results were recently published in the open-access journal Theranostics.
The new method involves whole-body PET/CT imaging to look for growth factor HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2) -- because if HER2 is not present, targeted breast cancer treatments will not have any therapeutic effect on the patient.
Sixteen women were tested for the study. Of them, 12 had tumors that had tested positive for HER2 and four had tumors that had tested negative for the growth factor. The new method was able to accurately detect and measure HER2 in all patients, which led to changes in therapy for some of them.
Researchers will now launch an in-depth study using more patients. They will work in tandem with staff from participating hospitals.
Presently, the only way to determine if a patient's tumors are expressing elevated HER2 levels is through tissue sampling, which is done via surgery or needle biopsy.
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Uppsala University S:t Olofsgatan 10 Uppsala, Uppsala län - 753 11