Hannah Linden, M.D.
Athena Distinguished Professorship of Breast Cancer Research
Professor, Division of Oncology
Our work in molecular imaging of cancer is getting closer to helping all patients, not just those who participate in research studies. Typically, we use a biopsy to identify and measure characteristics of breast tumors, including the amount of estrogen receptor present. With a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer called FES, we can use non-invasive imaging to measure whether the metastatic tumor is functionally taking up estrogen. Imaging with the FES tracer allows us to better understand tumor type and function and ultimately can determine which type of treatment will be most effective against it. If the tumor has functional estrogen uptake the patient would be likely to benefit from endocrine treatment.
In order to accelerate the development of FES, we want to show that it can be helpful not just for prognosis, but also as a diagnostic tool. The diagnosis of bone metastasis and extent of spread (staging) of infiltrating lobular tumors (ILC) are challenging. FES PET imaging may be able to assist with a virtual diagnosis. We hope to advance FES PET imaging research and use this tool in the clinic to help improve outcomes for breast cancer patients.
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