Dr. Davidson on Leveraging Imaging Technologies to Inform Clinical Decisions in Breast Cancer


Nancy E. Davidson, MD, shares how to leverage imaging technologies to inform treatment decisions in patients with breast cancer.

Nancy E. Davidson, MD, the 2021 Giants of Cancer Care® award winner in Breast Cancer, senior vice president, director and professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutch; Raisbeck Endowed Chair for Collaborative Research, Fred Hutch; and president and executive director, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; shares how to leverage imaging technologies to inform treatment decisions in patients with breast cancer. 

Although there is much interest in both tissue and blood-born biomarkers of response in breast cancer, there has also been an increased interest in functional imaging techniques, according to Davidson. Currently, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, there is research being done to determine whether imaging technologies can be used to understand the biologic capacity of cancer in the patient. Efforts are being made to understand if this information can be utilized to determine whether a patient will respond to a particular treatment, Davidson adds. 

For example, new PET tracers make it possible to define hormone-responsive breast cancers more easily, Davidson notes. This is valuable, as it would shed light on a patient’s likelihood of responding to hormone therapy, and potentially inform whether focus should shift to other treatments that could be more beneficial, Davidson adds. This understanding would help prevent unnecessary exposure to hormone therapy and potential associated toxicities, Davidson concludes.

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