Factors influencing the uptake of 18F-fluoroestradiol in patients with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer

Lanell M. Peterson, Brenda F. Kurland, Jeanne M. Link, Erin K. Schubert, Svetlana Stekhova, Hannah M. Linden, David A. Mankoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Introduction: 18F-Fluoroestradiol (FES) PET imaging provides a non-invasive method to measure estrogen receptor (ER) expression in tumors. Assessment of factors that could affect the quantitative level of FES uptake is important as part of the validation of FES PET for evaluating regional ER expression in breast cancer. Methods: This study examines FES uptake in tumors from 312 FES PET scans (239 patients) with documented ER+ primary breast cancer. FES uptake was compared to clinical and laboratory data, treatment prior to or at time of scan, and properties of FES and its metabolism and transport. Linear mixed models were used to explore univariate, threshold-based and multivariate associations. Results: Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) was inversely associated with FES SUV. Average FES uptake did not differ by levels of plasma estradiol, age or rate of FES metabolism. FES tumor uptake was greater for patients with a higher body mass index (BMI), but this effect did not persist when SUV was corrected for lean body mass (LBM). In multivariate analysis, only plasma SHBG binding was an independent predictor of LBM-adjusted FES SUV. Conclusions: Calculation of FES SUV, possibly adjusted for LBM, should be sufficient to assess FES uptake for the purpose of inferring ER expression. Pre-menopausal estradiol levels do not appear to interfere with FES uptake. The availability and binding properties of SHBG influence FES uptake and should be measured. Specific activity did not have a clear influence on FES uptake, except perhaps at higher injected mass per kilogram. These results suggest that FES imaging protocols may be simplified without sacrificing the validity of the results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-978
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • SHBG
  • Specific activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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