Our ability to accurately assess the skeleton for metastases in breast and prostate cancers has improved significantly in recent years with hybrid imaging methods. Nevertheless, no consensus has been reached on the best imaging modality for diagnosis and treatment response assessment of skeletal disease. Hybrid SPECT/CT has low false-positive and false-negative rates compared with planar bone scintigraphy (BS) or BS augmented with SPECT in breast and prostate cancers. In breast cancer, 18F-FDG PET is more sensitive and accurate at detecting bone metastases than BS. Currently, little evidence has accrued to support the superiority of 18F-fluoride (18F-NaF) PET in diagnosing osseous metastases or monitoring treatment response in breast cancer when compared with conventional imaging. In prostate cancer, the sensitivities of 18F-NaF PET/CT, 18F-fluorocholine (18F-choline), or 11C-choline PET/CT are equivalent, although 11C-/18F-choline PET/CT scans are more specific. Whole-body MRI, using anatomical sequences complemented by diffusion-weighted MRI, shows early evidence of utility for diagnosis and monitoring therapy response. We review the literature for staging and response assessment in metastatic breast and prostate cancer. While staging accuracy has significantly improved with hybrid imaging, optimal methods for assessing early treatment response have not been determined, and this is an area of active research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e44-e50
JournalClinical Nuclear Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • breast cancer
  • choline
  • diffusion-weighted MRI
  • FDG
  • fluoride
  • PET
  • prostate cancer


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