Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging data obtained early in the course of therapy can be used to estimate tumor proliferation rates, and the estimated rates can be used to predict tumor cellularity at the conclusion of therapy. Six patients underwent diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging immediately before, after one cycle, and after all cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Apparent diffusion coefficient values were calculated for each voxel and for a whole tumor region of interest. Proliferation rates were estimated using the apparent diffusion coefficient data from the first two time points and then used with the logistic model of tumor growth to predict cellularity after therapy. The predicted number of tumor cells was then correlated to the corresponding experimental data. Pearson's correlation coefficient for the region of interest analysis yielded 0.95 (P = 0.004), and, after applying a 3 × 3 mean filter to the apparent diffusion coefficient data, the voxel-by-voxel analysis yielded a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.70 ± 0.10 (P < 0.05).
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