PURPOSE - To evaluate whether semi-quantitative analysis of high temporal resolution dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) acquired early in treatment can predict the response of locally advanced breast cancer (LABC) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS - As part of an IRB-approved prospective study, 21 patients with LABC provided informed consent and underwent high temporal resolution 3T DCE-MRI before and after 1cycle of NAC. Using measurements performed by two radiologists, the following parameters were extracted for lesions at both examinations: lesion size (short and long axes, in both early and late phases of enhancement), radiologist's subjective assessment of lesion enhancement, and percentages of voxels within the lesion demonstrating progressive, plateau, or washout kinetics. The latter data were calculated using two filters, one selecting for voxels enhancing ≥50% over baseline and one for voxels enhancing ≥100% over baseline. Pretreatment imaging parameters and parameter changes following cycle 1 of NAC were evaluated for their ability to discriminate patients with an eventual pathological complete response (pCR).
RESULTS - All 21 patients completed NAC followed by surgery, with 9 patients achieving a pCR. No pretreatment imaging parameters were predictive of pCR. However, change after cycle 1 of NAC in percentage of voxels demonstrating washout kinetics with a 100% enhancement filter discriminated patients with an eventual pCR with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.77. Changes in other parameters, including lesion size, did not predict pCR.
CONCLUSION - Semi-quantitative analysis of high temporal resolution DCE-MRI in patients with LABC can discriminate patients with an eventual pCR after one cycle of NAC.
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