Comparative effectiveness of imaging modalities to determine metastatic breast cancer treatment response.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland), Volume 24, Issue 1, p.3-11 (2015)


We performed a systematic review to address the comparative effectiveness of different imaging modalities in evaluating treatment response among metastatic breast cancer patients. We searched seven multidisciplinary electronic databases for relevant publications (January 2003-December 2013) and performed dual abstraction of details and results for all clinical studies that involved stage IV breast cancer patients and evaluated imaging for detecting treatment response. Among 159 citations reviewed, 17 single-institution, non-randomized, observational studies met our inclusion criteria. Several studies demonstrate that changes in PET/CT standard uptake values are associated with changes in tumor volume as determined by bone scan, MRI, and/or CT. However, no studies evaluated comparative test performance between modalities or determined relationships between imaging findings and subsequent clinical decisions. Evidence for imaging's effectiveness in determining treatment response among metastatic breast cancer patients is limited. More rigorous research is needed to address imaging's value in this patient population.