Purpose: We aim to assess the diagnostic and prognostic values of 18Ffluorodeoxyglucose
(FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography
(CT) in a small population with male breast cancer (MBC).
Materials and Methods: From May 2005 to Jul 2013, we retrospectively reinterpreted
31 FDG PET/CT scans of 25 men (mean age: 67 years; range: 51-81
years) with a proven breast cancer diagnosis, from two Italian centers. In the majority
of patients, an invasive ductal cancer was present (68%). PET/CT scan was
performed for initial staging in 5 (16%), restaging in 18 (58%), restaging for the
increase of tumor markers in 4 (13%), response to therapy in 2 (6%) and during
follow-up in 2 cases (6%). The prognostic impact of PET/CT in this male breast
cancer population was assessed by using Kaplan-Meier analysis.
Results: Nuclear medicine imaging was negative in 10 subjects while it resulted positive in the residual
15 patients (60%). At initial staging, in four out of five cases, PET/CT showed a significant
uptake in the primary cancer and of those three had also a loco-regional lymphatic and distant metastatic
involvement. In restaging setting, PET/CT was more accurate than conventional imaging for detection
of distant metastases, resolving two false-positive findings. Finally, a positive PET/CT scan
was demonstrated to be prognostically unfavorable as compared to a negative exam.
Conclusions: MBC is a rare tumor with similar biological and metabolic characteristics of female
breast cancer. FDG PET/CT seems to be useful, particularly in the restaging setting, to delineate the
correct therapeutic approach and to predict the prognosis.