A study looking at a type of PET-CT scan for women with breast cancer (FRONTIER)

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study was done to find out whether fluciclovine PET-CT scans can show up areas of breast cancer. It was for women who were due to have treatment for breast cancer at the Churchill hospital in Oxford.

The study was open for people to join between 2017 and 2018. The team published the results in 2022.

More about this trial

A PET-CT scan combines a PET scan and a CT scan to give detailed information about a person’s cancer. It can help doctors decide the best treatment to give, and show how well treatment is working.

In this study, doctors used a type of PET-CT scan called a fluciclovine PET-CT scan (18F PET-CT scan). 

Fluciclovine is a mild radioactive dye Open a glossary item. You have it as an injection into a vein. It travels in the bloodstream and is taken up by the breast cancer cells. The cells that take up the tracer show up on the scan.

When this study was done, fluciclovine had already been looked at for prostate cancer. Doctors hoped that it would also be useful for breast cancer.

The main aim of this study was to find out how well breast cancer cells take up the fluciclovine dye (tracer).

Summary of results

This study was for women who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. They were all due to have treatment. Everyone taking part had a 18F PET-CT scan before they started treatment.

They had an injection of fluciclovine tracer before the scan. The research team measured how much of the tracer was in the breast cancer tissue at various times after the injection.

They looked at the results using two different methods of analysis. One was the standard method. The other was a more involved and complex method. 

A total of 39 women joined this study. The results showed that breast cancer tissue took up more of the tracer than the healthy breast tissue around it.

The results of the different mathematical methods were similar. The research team felt that the more involved and complex method didn’t add any more information to the test results.

The research team concluded that fluciclovine could be a useful tracer to use in PET-CT scans for breast cancer.

More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below. 

Please note, this article is not in plain English. It has been written for health care professionals and researchers.

Characterising 18F-fluciclovine uptake in breast cancer through the use of dynamic PET/CT imaging
N Scott and others
British Journal of Cancer, 2022. Issue 126, pages 598 - 605.

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link we list above is active and the article is free and available to view.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Adrian Harris

Supported by

Blue Earth Diagnostics Ltd 
Cancer Research UK
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Oncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO)
Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit (OCTRU)
University of Oxford

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Last reviewed:

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