Healthcare question

Should fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (18F-FDG PET-CT) staging exams vs. no PET staging exams be used for patients with clinical stage 2 breast cancer without symptoms suggestive of metastases?

Recommendations

For patients with clinical stage 2a breast cancer without symptoms suggestive of metastases, the ECIBC's Guidelines Development Group (GDG) suggests against using positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) staging exams.

For patients with clinical stage 2b breast cancer without symptoms suggestive of metastases, the ECIBC's Guidelines Development Group (GDG) suggests against using positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) staging exams.

Recommendation strength ­

  Conditional recommendation against the intervention

  Very low certainty of the evidence

Research priorities

The GDG suggested the following:

  • More knowledge on determining the probability of metastases that would not give symptoms in the life of a patient would improve describing the conditions for which PET-CT testing is indicated.
  • Better characterisation of clinical tumour stages (stage 2a and stage 2b).

Additional considerations

The GDG agreed that for stage 2b there are more scenarios (clinical presentations) that would lead the clinician/patient to opt for doing a PET-CT (tumour grade, age).

Supporting documents