Healthcare question

Should fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography-computed tomography (18F-FDG PET-CT) staging exams vs. conventional staging exams be used for patients with clinical stage 3 breast cancer without symptoms suggestive of metastases?

Recommendation

For patients with clinical stage 3 breast cancer without symptoms suggestive of metastases, the ECIBC's Guidelines Development Group (GDG) suggests using positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) over conventional staging exams.

Recommendation strength ­

  Conditional recommendation for the intervention

  Low certainty of the evidence

Considerations for implementation and policy making

Need to take into account the resource capacity (including human resources and financial resources and equipment) across Europe.

Research priorities

  1. Need for cost-effectiveness data.
  2. Need for studies evaluating follow-up of patients that would address patient important outcomes as the only data evaluated is on accuracy outcomes.

Supporting documents