Amy Fowler begins clinical trial to identify hormone-resistant breast cancer

Posted on June 2024

Amy Fowler, MD, PhD

Amy Fowler, MD, PhD harnesses the power of positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in her new clinical study to improve the precision of early-stage breast cancer treatments prior to surgery. 

By administering a targeted imaging agent and tracking it via simultaneous PET/MRI scans, Dr. Fowler can observe the effectiveness of hormone therapy given before surgery. When hormone therapy is given before surgery, it can potentially shrink tumors and reduce the amount of breast tissue removed during surgery. This makes pre-surgical hormone therapy a potentially effective treatment option for some patients. However, there are types of breast cancer that are hormone resistant and are unaffected by this course of treatment. The challenge is identifying hormone-resistant cancer prior to treatment. 

Through this trial, Dr. Fowler aims to better identify the cancers that are hormone sensitive versus those that are hormone resistant, which will help guide the treatment decision process for a patient. This imaging technique could provide a less-invasive alternative to needle biopsies in tracking treatment progress for patients. 

“In my clinical work at the Breast Center as a radiologist, we do image-guided breast biopsies, and many patients say that it would be nice to get all the information about a tumor, or as much as you can about a tumor, without needing more biopsies.” 

To learn more about the clinical trial, visit the UW Health website.