ARTICLE ABSTRACTPET with 16α-[18F]-fluoro-17β-estradiol ([18F]FES) allows assessment of whole body estrogen receptor (ER) expression. The aim of this study was to investigate [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) and [18F]FES PET/CT imaging for response prediction and monitoring of drug activity in patients with metastatic ER-positive breast cancer undergoing treatment with the selective estrogen receptor downregulator (SERD) rintodestrant.
In this trial (NCT03455270), PET/CT imaging was performed at baseline ([18F]FDG and [18F]FES), during treatment and at time of progression (only [18F]FES). Visual, quantitative, and mutational analysis was performed to derive a heterogeneity score (HS) and assess tracer uptake in lesions, in relation to the mutation profile. The primary outcome was progression-free survival (PFS).
The HS and PFS in the entire group did not correlate (n = 16, Spearman's rho, P = 0.06), but patients with a low HS (< 25.0%, n = 4) had a PFS of > 5 months whereas patients with no [18F]FES uptake (HS 100.0%, n = 3) had a PFS of < 2 months. [18F]FES uptake was not affected by estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) mutations. On-treatment [18F]FES PET/CT scans showed no [18F]FES uptake in any of the baseline [18F]FES-positive lesions. At progression, [18F]FES uptake remained blocked in patients scanned ≤ 1–2 half-lives of rintodestrant whereas it restored in patients scanned ≥ 5 days after end of treatment.
Absence of ER expression on [18F]FES PET is a predictor for no response to rintodestrant. [18F]FES uptake during treatment and at time of progression is useful to monitor the (reversible) effect of therapy and continued mode of action of SERDs.See related commentary by Linden and Mankoff, p. 2015