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Ann Oncol. 2009 Apr;20(4):636-41. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdn683. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

Age and HER2 expression status affect MRI accuracy in predicting residual tumor extent after neo-adjuvant systemic treatment.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Chongno-Gu, Seoul, Korea.



Although recent studies suggest high accuracy of breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in predicting residual tumor extent after neo-adjuvant systemic treatment (NST), its use is still controversial. In this study, we aimed to identify predictive factors of MRI accuracy after NST to determine a subgroup of patients in whom the use of MRI provides best additional benefit.


Clinicopathologic and molecular profiles of breast cancer patients were investigated and their relationships with MRI accuracy were analyzed.


From January 2006 to February 2008, 195 patients received NST and preoperative MRI. In overall, MRI predicted residual tumor extent with higher accuracy than ultrasonography. Triple-negative (TN) tumors showed highest correlation between MRI-measured and pathologic tumor size (r = 0.781) when compared with other subtypes. Multivariate analysis showed age and HER2 expression status as independent factors predicting MRI accuracy. When patients were classified based on their age and HER2 status, relatively older patients (>45) with HER2-negative tumors showed highest MRI accuracy. This finding was further validated using an independent cohort of 63 consecutive patients.


Age and HER2 status independently affected MRI accuracy after NST. This observation may guide more tailored approach in using MRI in breast cancer patients undergoing NST.

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